Mars Pathfinder


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

Mars Pathfinder

A NASA mission launched Dec. 4 1996 to put a lander and a free-ranging instrument-packed roving vehicle directly onto the planet's surface. The probe landed on Mars on July 4 1997 in the region of the Ares Vallis, an extensive valley-like feature in the northern hemisphere. After landing, Mars Pathfinder released the rover, named Sojourner, which began investigations of the surrounding area. The Pathfinder mission lasted for nearly three months, sending back a wealth of science data about the planet's rocks and soil, its dust and dust storms, its winds and the effects of wind erosion, and possible evidence that water may have flowed on Mars during a warmer past. Pathfinder made its last complete data transmission on Sept. 27. After a month of unsuccessful attempts to communicate with it, mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory terminated further efforts to contact the probe on Nov. 4 1997.

The mission successfully demonstrated a low-cost method of delivering scientific instruments to Mars. It was possible to photograph local surface features, and the mission obtained 16 000 images from the lander and 550 from Sojourner.

References in periodicals archive ?
While at Sandia National Laboratories, Halley led design changes in the Parachute Technology and Unsteady Aerodynamics Department from Cold War capabilities in nuclear weapons technology to post-cold war capabilities in numerous fluid/structure interactions technologies, including automotive airbags and proof-of-concept of the Mars Pathfinder airbag system, a system that worked and made the Pathfinder mission a success (see Figure 4).
1997: Nasa's Mars Pathfinder rover lands on the surface of Mars, sending information suggesting Mars was once warm and wet.
Preliminary tests of the CGS software included evaluation of code from previous space missions, including Deep Space 1 that flew in 1999, the Mars Pathfinder mission, and parts of the Mars Exploration Rover code, which were written in C computer language.
Being a space artist is very rewarding, and to be included in Woodmansee's book with the likes of NASA's chief scientist, a Mars Pathfinder engineer and space shuttle Columbia's Kalpana Chawla is a great honor," said Jones.
The images were the first from the surface of the planet since NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission in 1997.
The Mars Pathfinder, an American craft that successfully delivered the Sojourner rover to Mars in 1997, survived the trip and the descent, hit the surface at 40 mph, bounced 40 feet into the air and then bounced 15 more times before coming to rest.
Similar instruments on a future Mars lander could measure the strength of Martian dust devils, which have shown up on images taken by the Mars Pathfinder lander and by probes orbiting the Red Planet.
Mas alla de esa marca astronautica, lo mas importante para los expertos de la NASA fue lograr un primer triunfo en sus misiones a Marte, desde 1997, cuando la Mars Pathfinder se poso en ese planeta y su pequeno robot todetorreno recorrio parte del suelo marciano y transmitio imagenes durante 83 dias.
Small business participation in NASA programs represents over 30% of its business portfolio and plays a critical role in key programs like the International Space Station, the Mars Pathfinder, QuikScat, and the John Glenn launch, just to name a few," says Ralph C.
When NASA returned to the surface of Mars in 1997 the Mars Pathfinder Rover ("Sojourner") was warmed with three 1-watt radioisotope heater units.