Live From Mars was active July 1996-December 1997.

UPDATE # 50 - August 21, 1997

PART 1: Back by Popular Demand
PART 2: Stay Tuned: New Weather Activity Coming Your Way
PART 3: Mars Global Surveyor Flight Status
PART 4: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it!


Bridget Landry will join us once again in the Live From Mars chat room on
Tuesday, August 26, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time. Most of
you know Bridget as the deputy uplink systems engineer for Mars
Pathfinder. But did you know that in her spare time she designs sci-fi
costumes! To find out even more about Bridget and her interesting life, be
sure to read her bio and journals at:

To participate in the WebChat, RSVP at least 24 hours in advance to
reserve a space for yourself. Send RSVP to: You
will receive confirmation of your registration and a password to enter the
chat room. If the chat rooms are full by the time you register, you can
still participate by watching the chat from the Observe Room at:


A special, online Earth/Mars weather activity is in the works and will be
available soon. If you were involved in the Planet Explorer Toolkit, or
PET, think of this as "PET Lite"! It is an invitation to teachers and
students to brainstorm weather observations, take data and see how their
home sites and others across the US (and perhaps internationally) and Mars
compare. More details will be made available to this mail list soon.


[Editor's note: This status report was prepared by the Office of the
Flight Operations Manager, Mars Surveyor Operations Project, NASA Jet
Propulsion Laboratory.]

August 15, 1997

As of today, Mars Global Surveyor is less than one month from an encounter
with the red planet. Spacecraft performance continues to be flawless as
Surveyor closes the 6.75 million kilometer distance to Mars at a rate of
242,500 kilometers per day.

On Monday, the flight team transmitted commands to activate the Mars
Orbiter Camera science instrument in preparation for two days of star
imaging this week. Once per day on Wednesday and today, the spacecraft
turned to point the camera at stars in the constellation Scorpius called
Beta Scorpii, Omega-1 Scorpii, and Omega-2 Scorpii. Over the course of one
hour on each imaging day, the camera observed stars within the target

The camera team, led by Dr. Michael Malin, will use these star images to
determine the best focus settings for a set of long-range Mars images that
will be obtained during a three-day period beginning on Tuesday, August
19. In addition, the Thermal Emission Spectrometer science instrument will
also observe Mars during this time period.

After a mission elapsed time of 281 days from launch, Surveyor is 226.68
million kilometers from the Earth and is moving in an orbit around the Sun
with a velocity of 21.80 kilometers per second. This orbit will intercept
Mars 27 days from now, slightly after 6:00 p.m. PDT on September 11 (01:00
UTC, September 12). The spacecraft is currently executing the C10 command
sequence, and all systems continue to be in excellent condition.


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