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Deep Space & Planetary Missions

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Phoenix Last Updated on 2009-09-30 00:00:00 NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander is studying the far northern plains of Mars to analyze components of the surface, subsurface and atmosphere. It uses a trench-digging arm and a set of analytical tools to study water believed to be frozen into the soil just below the surface. It will also seek evidence of organic compounds to determine whether the site has been a favorable environment for microbial life.  Launch On Aug. 4, 2007, at 5:26 a.m. EST, a three-stage Delta II launch vehicle lofted the Phoenix spacecraft from pad SLC-17A of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. into the pre-dawn eastern sky. The mission used the 7925 model of Delta ll, which has a liquid-fueled first stage with nine strap-on solid-fuel boosters, a liquid-fueled second stage and a solid-fuel third stage. With its Phoenix payload on top, it stood 39.6 meters (130 feet) tall. Celestial motions rule... More »
Mars Global Surveyor Last Updated on 2009-08-28 00:08:52 Nation: U.S. (69) Objective(s): Mars orbit Spacecraft: MGS Spacecraft Mass: 1,062.1 kg Mission Design and Management: NASA JPL Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925 (no. D239) Launch Date and Time: 7 November 1996 / 17:00:49 UT Launch Site: ESMC / launch complex 17A Scientific Instruments: 1) MOC Mars orbital camera 2) MOLA Mars orbital laser altimeter 3) TES thermal emission spectrometer 4) MAG/ER magnetometer/electron reflectometer 5) RS radio science experiment 6) MR Mars relay antenna for future spacecraft Results: Mars Global Surveyor was the first spacecraft in NASA's new Mars Surveyor program that was designed to inaugurate a new generation of American space probes to explore Mars every twenty-six months from 1996 to 2005. The Mars Surveyor program (formulated in 1994) was intended to economize costs and maximize returns by involving a single industrial partner with the... More »