Mars Global Surveyor's BIG DAY--THURSDAY, SEPT 11th -- ORBIT

From: Jan Wee <>
Subject: Mars Global Surveyor's BIG DAY--THURSDAY, SEPT 11th -- ORBIT
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 22:08:22 -0500

Dear discuss-lfm members,

This week (especially tomorrow) will prove to be another 
historical week for NASA and the Mars Missions... be sure to keep 
your students involved and simultaneously prepare them for 
the two upcoming LFM telecasts (October 30th and 
November 13, 1997, 13:00-14:00 Eastern) by participating in:

Like the excitement preceding the landing of Mars Pathfinder,
we suspect the MGS Team will have a hard time relaxing, sleeping, or
eating in the next 24 hours!  With orbit insertion set for tomorrow
at 6PM Pacific time and all systems GO we hope to >>>celebrate with
the team<<< in our own unique cyberspace way! 

Let's assume success and plan on sending the MGS Team our LFM
*CONGRATULATORY* messages during the coming week.  If all goes 
as planned (and it does look MIGHTY GOOD for a successful insertion), 
please have your students COMPOSE their unique message (group or 
individual) sharing their impressions, enthusiasm, appreciation 
for the work of the MARS MISSION TEAM members and their fabulous 
Mars exploration feats!  Be creative! -- poetry, digital art, 
journal writing,  their own lyrics... are all but a few suggestions.
Send these by Friday, September 19th!

In the subject be sure to label: MGS  CONGRATS from _____ 
(school/teacher/location)  and send to  <>.

If you/your class prefer to create offline using specially constructed, 
hand-made products, package your "treasures" and send to:  

Passport to Knowledge
P.O. Box 1502 
Summit, NJ 07902-1502 
PTK staff will see to it that your contribution arrives safely at 
NASA JPL in Pasadena, California!  (PTK vets: This brings back 
memories the Clyde Tombaugh 90th birthday celebration, part of 
the Live From the Hubble Space Telescope project!) 

This activity would be especially meaningful if you have students 
learn more about the Mars Team via our collection of online 
Journals/Biographies found on the LFM web site at:  

You will find many intriguing journals focusing on the MGS team
members (and Pathfinder team, of course) as well as a very special 
insider's view of the MGS pre-orbit jitters shared by Phil Christensen 
explaining why he lies awake at night!

Suggestion:  download and print these resources and share them in class
or have teams of students go online with the goal of reporting their
discoveries about the MGS Team.  

You can also better prepare yourself and your students by visiting 
the MGS web site at
and tapping the wealth of resources (Hot News, Mission Status,
FAQ, Movies/Pics, simulations, etc.).  

Don't forget that LFM (thanks to Alan Federman, webmaster)
is providing links to tomorrow's NASA TV coverage via REAL AUDIO 
and REAL VIDEO!  Details at
indicate that coverage begins at 5PM Pacific time and will continue
through 8PM Pacific.  You need the RealPlayer (links to download site
available) and 14.4 modem for RealAudio and 28.8 modem for RealVideo.
What a great way to test drive your new Internet connection, new modem,
new fun audio/video applications!  Please give your feedback to 
Alan as this is a test of this new multi-media resource/opportunity and
your input is valued. Send feedback message to
There will be a capacity of 50 connections for RealVideo and 150 
connections for RealAudio!  Join the excitement!!


Flight Status Report
Wednesday, 10 September 1997

Tomorrow, Surveyor will arrive at Mars after a 10-month voyage from its 
Cape Canaveral launch site. Currently, the spacecraft is 300,000 km from 
the Red Planet. This distance, less than that between the Earth and Moon, 
is shrinking at a rate of 2,930 meters per second. 

Project manager Glenn Cunningham reports that "everything is picture perfect" 
with respect to preparations both on the ground and on the spacecraft for 
tomorrow's orbit insertion burn. After yesterday's successful propellant 
pressurization, tank pressures are holding steady at 276 pounds per square
and spacecraft temperatures are normal. 

The orbit insertion burn will start at 6:31 p.m. PDT Thursday evening and 
will last for about 22 minutes. During that time, Surveyor's main rocket 
engine will expend nearly 280 kilograms of propellant to slow the spacecraft's 
velocity by 973 meters per second....

Looking forward to tomorrow's orbit insertion and thinking
good thoughts for MGS and the Mars Team!

Jan Wee, moderator