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Mars Global Surveyor Reaches Mapping Orbit
News story originally written on February 22, 1999

Mars Global Surveyor is one step closer to collecting data. It reached its final mapping orbit of approximately 229 miles above the surface Mars on February 19th. Now scientists are beginning to power up and calibrate the many instruments on the satellite.

"Reaching our mapping orbit has been a long time coming for all involved. We are delighted to finally be able to do this mission as it was designed, in the proper mapping orbit with all the instruments working at their full potential," said Dr. Arden Albee, the Mars Global Surveyor project scientist at the California Institute of Technology.

The orbit is specially designed so that the satellite will pass over the same part of Mars at the same time of day. This is necessary so that scientists will be able to distinguish diurnal changes from long-term variations.


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