Live From Mars was active July 1996-December 1997.

PART 1: June 6 Deadline for Landing Day Workshop
PART 2: Summer WebChats: Your Best Times?
PART 3: Rebroadcast Dates of LFM Program
PART 4: Broadcast Information for July
PART 5: Mars Pathfinder Weekly Status
PART 6: Mars Global Surveyor Flight Status
PART 7: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it!


An educators workshop focusing on Mars, the Mars Pathfinder mission and
NASA's plans for future Mars missions will be held July 2-3 at the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.

The workshop will be designed for K-12th grade teachers who are interested
in learning more about the red planet and who wish to be in the hub of
activities leading up to the successful landing on July 4 of NASA's Mars
Pathfinder spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology operates
JPL, which is the home of the Mars Pathfinder mission and NASA's
decade-long program of robotic exploration of Mars.

Those wishing to attend must complete an electronic application form
available on the World Wide Web at
and return it by June 6. Letters of interest also may be faxed to Cheick
Diarra, fax 818-393-2902, or mailed to Cheick at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop T1129, Pasadena, Calif.,
91109. E-mail submissions may be sent to All
letters must be received no later than 5 p.m. PDT June 6.

The educators conference will begin the evening of Wednesday, July 2, with
an informal barbecue and get-acquainted session taking place from 6 p.m. -
9 p.m. on the Caltech campus. Scientists and members of the Mars
Exploration Program at JPL will offer a program of presentations on Mars
exploration and other space exploration missions coming up from 9 a.m. -
noon on Thursday, July 3. Participants will be introduced to a variety of
ideas for incorporating hands-on classroom learning activities during the

A weekend of activities also will be taking place in Pasadena July 3-6
called Planetfest '97, which is sponsored by the Planetary Society. The
festival will allow the public a rare chance to follow NASA Television
programming of Pathfinder's historic landing on Mars and follow the
beginning of rover activities on the surface of the planet.

The Caltech conference registration fee is $25.00. Teachers interested in
attending The Planetary Society Planetfest '97 activities in addition to
the conference will be eligible to receive the discounted $20.00 three-day
pass to the Planetfest activities.

Caltech is located at 1200 E. California Blvd. in Pasadena. For further
information about the educators conference, contact Cheick Diarra at (818)
354-5428 or Cathy Davis at


In planning our Mars WebChat schedule for the summer months we realized
that the traditional best days and hours during the school year may be
different now that its summer. If you are interested in continuing to
participate in chats during the summer please let us know your best days
and times. Send an email message to:


June 4 & 20: Live From Mars Program I "Countdown"
(rebroadcast of live performance), Level: Grades 5-12, 57:30
"Countdown" introduces a new series of "Passport to Knowledge" electronic
field trips. Live From Mars Program I takes students behind closed doors
at Cape Canaveral to see NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft close-up, just days
before its successful early December launch, and invites students and
teachers to follow Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor online via the
Internet and with hands-on discovery activities throughout the next two
school years.

NOTE: On June 20 the 2:00 p.m. broadcast will be preempted by the STS 94
Mission Overview/Crew News Conference.

June 23: Live From Mars Program II: "Cruising Between the Planets"
Level: Grades K-12, 60:00
Behind the scenes at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, lead center for planetary
exploration. How rocket fuel, momentum, gravity and ingenuity get
spacecraft from Earth to Mars. Mars Pathfinder's and Global Surveyor's
progress to date. Portraits of the men and women who control the missions.
Building and testing the robotic rover, Sojourner. Highlights of hands-on
student activities including the LFM Planet Explorer Toolkit, the Egg Drop
Challenge, and Red Rover, Red Rover.

Note: The NASA TV satellite coordinates are:
GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization,
with a frequency of 3880 Mhz, and audio of 6.8 Mhz.

Broadcast times: 2-3 p.m., 5-6 p.m., 8-9 p.m., 11 p.m.-12 am, 2-3 am.
All times Eastern. NASA TV may preempt scheduled programming for live
agency events.


Note: The satellite coordinates listed in the Live From Mars Teacher's
Guide do not apply to the summer broadcasts.

Sunday, July 6, 1997, 14:00-16:00 EST:
GE-2, C-Band, 85 degrees West, Transponder (channel) 21, vertical
polarity, frequency of 4120 Mhz, and Audio 6.2 & 6.8

NASA-TV: GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude,
vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz,
and Audio 6.8 Mhz.

PBS: Telstar 402 R, 7 Lower, 89 degrees West, Frequency 11895 Vertical,
6.2 & 6.8 Audio.

Wednesday, July 9, 1997, 14:00-16:00 EST:
GE-2, C-Band, 85 degrees West, Transponder (channel) 21, vertical
polarity, frequency of 4120 Mhz, and Audio 6.2 & 6.8

NASA-TV: GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical
polarization, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz, and Audio 6.8 Mhz.

** PBS: Telstar 402 R, 7 Lower, 89 degrees West, Frequency 11895 Vertical,
6.2 & 6.8 Audio

NASA-TV transmission may be preempted by Mission updates.

** On Tape Delay; exact time to be announced.


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

May 30, 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 140 million
kilometers from Earth (17 million km from Mars). Major spacecraft
activities performed this week included a turn to maintain Earth point
attitude and starting battery charge (see below). The total flight time
since launch is now 175 days, and we have 35 days until Mars arrival.

The most significant project activity completed this week was to begin
charging the flight battery. Approximately 22 amp-hours of capacity has
been taken out of the battery since installation, and the objective of
charging was to replace as much as possible. Degradation of the total
battery capacity has occurred over the six months since launch, but a
total capacity of at least 40 amp-hours should still be possible (compared
to a prelaunch capacity of 56 amp-hours). A total of 7 amp-hours has been
added after two days of charging, so we are already above the 40 amp-hour
level. The flight team is currently assessing whether additional charging
is warranted. Completed updates to the final flight software load. We are
currently performing a final set of regression tests prior to patching the
software next week.

Deep Space Network personnel corrected the final open ranging data
accuracy problem which has been a concern for the last several months.
This problem involved larger than expected range jitter in the data
acquired at Goldstone. The problem is related to a faulty board in the
Sequential Ranging Assembly. All ranging data acquired for the project now
meets the prelaunch accuracy specifications.

For more information, visit our website at


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

May 27, 1997

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. PDT last Saturday, operators staffing the
Goldstone antenna complex in the Mojave desert announced that they had
locked up on a signal transmitted from Surveyor at a data rate of 2000
bits per second. This milestone marked the transition out of safe-mode and
back to normal operating conditions. Since early in the month, Surveyor's
safe-mode orientation had limited the maximum data transmission rate to
250 bits per second or less.

The spacecraft automatically entered safe-mode on the morning on May 7
when the onboard computer encountered an infinite loop in flight software.
Entry into safe mode placed Surveyor in a configuration that guaranteed
adequate power, thermal, and communications margins. This mode is intended
to be a benign operating state favorable for diagnostic and recovery
activities if an unexpected event occurs in one or more of the
spacecraft's systems.

Recovery operations involved a multistep process that began on Friday.
First, the flight team sent a series of instructions to Surveyor's backup
flight computer. These instructions initialized the backup computer to
begin using its normal flight software rather than the limited software
set utilized in safe mode. Then, the flight team commanded the backup
computer to control the spacecraft while performing the same software
initialization procedure on the Surveyor's primary computer.

The next step required reestablishing the spacecraft's ability to point at
targets in space. In safe mode, the flight computer assumes that its
ability to find and point at targets other than the Sun has been
compromised. Restoration of pointing capability involved commanding the
spacecraft to rotate in a cone-shaped pattern around the Sun for several
hours. This action allowed Surveyor's star scanner to lock-up on distant
guide stars in space. The spacecraft determines its orientation in space
by using these stars as reference points.

Pointing capability was restored early Saturday evening. At that time, the
flight team commanded Surveyor to rotate from its safe-mode, Sun-pointed
orientation to an Earth-pointed orientation. Aiming the spacecraft's
antenna directly at the Earth enabled Surveyor to begin transmitting data
using any one of its standard rates of 2000 bits per second or faster.
Early next week, the flight team will transmit modifications to Surveyor's
flight software to prevent the infinite-loop condition from occurring

Surveyor would have been stable in safing for an indefinite period of time
even if no corrective action had been taken. However, the flight team
worked on restoring standard operations as quickly as possible because
normal command sequences, such as those that control science calibration
activities, are prohibited from executing in safe mode.

After a mission elapsed time of 201 days from launch, Surveyor is 124.64
million kilometers from the Earth, 27.15 million kilometers from Mars, and
is moving in an orbit around the Sun with a velocity of 22.89 kilometers
per second. This orbit will intercept Mars 107 days from now, slightly
after 6:00 p.m. PDT on September 11 (01:00 UTC, September 12). All systems
continue to be in excellent condition.


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