This image shows a portion of the Martian terrain and the forward ramp of the Mars Pathfinder lander.
Click on image for full size
The Mars Surveyor Program
When Mars Observer
blew up, the Mars Surveyor Program was born.
The Surveyor Program was suppose to consist of 8 spacecraft. The spacecraft were named:
Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars '98, Mars 2001, Mars 2003, and Mars 2005.
The Pathfinder mission was a huge success. And the Mars Global Surveyor is still taking measurements. But, the Mars '98 Orbiter and Lander were lost in space!
So, NASA ended the Mars Surveyor program. They took some time to rethink things. Then, in 2000, NASA announced a new Mars Exploration Program. This new program started with the Mars Odyssey 2001 mission which was launched in April 2001. It also includes rovers and a sample return mission in the next 10 years. A sample return mission is where rocks and dirt would be brought back to Earth from the surface of Mars. Cool!
You might also be interested in:
People were really excited when Pathfinder landed on Mars on July 4, 1997. The Mars Pathfinder mission (MPF for short!) was sent to Mars to look at the rocks and soil of Mars. The MPF was actually 2 parts,...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001. After a six-month journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The instruments onboard the Mars Odyssey will study the minerals on the surface...more
An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetosphere around Mars. Previous missions did not make very good measurements of...more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
Aerobraking slowed the Mars Global Surveyor down when it reached Mars. Aerobraking also helped MGS to get into the right orbit for mapping the surface of Mars. Aerobraking means that the MGS flew through...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. The picture to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of the giant cliff which separates the southern...more