about planetary missions

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In this article, I will discuss the Mars Surveyor 98 projects, also known as the Mars Polar Lander. The mission included two spacecraft that launched independently. The Mars Environment Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander were the two ("NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details", 2017). The main goal of the two missions was to investigate the atmospheric conditions on Mars. They were aimed at further understanding Mars' atmosphere and climatic environments, which would aid in the creation of numerous reservoirs and volatiles on the planet's surface. In addition, the carbon dioxide budget of mars, as well as the presence of iron in the soil, was of great interest to the scientist about this mission ("NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details", 2017). The presence of iron metals would go on further validating the claim there is the presence of water on Mars. The whole mission is estimated to have cost 193.1 million dollars.92 million dollars was used during the launch of the program and 42 million dollars was the operation costs of the programs.

The telemetric images were to be sent by the Mars Polar Lander. However shortly after landing on the surface communication with the spacecraft was lost ("NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details", 2017). The cause of the loss of connection between the two is unknown and as such, no images were obtained from the mission. The Mars Polar Lander is composed of a hexagonal base and is supported by three leg-like structures. It is approximately one meter tall and weighs close to half a tonne.It has two solar panels on its opposite sides whose purpose is to provide energy for the imaging.

In my opinion, the mission was not worth the cost since it never achieved its intended purpose ("NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details", 2017). According to information obtained from NASA website to date, no data was collected from this mission.

Image of Mars Polar Lander


NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details. (2017). Nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 15 November 2017, from https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/masterCatalog.do?sc=1999-001A

January 05, 2023

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