Mars Global Surveyor

(redirected from Global Mars Surveyor)

Mars Global Surveyor

(MGS) A NASA mission launched Nov 1996 to orbit Mars and send back scientific data on its surface features, atmosphere, and magnetic properties, all for the purposes of advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by comparing it with Mars and providing comprehensive information to aid future planetary missions. In the event, MGS proved one of NASA's most fruitful missions, and was a notable success at a time when other Martian missions failed. Following a polar orbit around the planet at an altitude of 450 km, MGS was able to cover the whole planet in a week. Its immediate mission, like that of the ill-fated Mars Observer, was to map the planet and return data on its weather, geology and topography during the space of a Martian year (1.88 Earth years). It was still functioning and transmitting streams of images and other data at the start of 2005.
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