Launch of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. MGS was launched on November 7, 1996. MGS arrived at Mars on September 11, 1997.
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Courtesy of NASA.

Instruments of the Mars Global Surveyor Mission

It has been more than 30 years since America's first exploratory missions to Mars. Here are some of the instruments carried onboard Mars Global Surveyor (called MGS for short). Many of these instruments were inherited from the Mars Observer mission. These instruments are designed to study the weather and surface of Mars:
  • A camera to produce daily weather images of Mars similar to weather photographs of the Earth shown on the nightly news.
  • An instrument to measure the heights of things.
  • An instrument to measure the warmth of the surface of Mars.
    • This instrument will also make maps of minerals found on the surface.
  • An instrument to study the magnetic properties of Mars.

Radio signals sent to Earth will reveal the precise shape of the planet, which helps scientists figure out what the inside of Mars is like.

Last modified May 10, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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