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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

28 February 1997

The spacecraft remains in excellent health and is currently about 32 million kilometers from Earth. No significant operational activities were conducted this week. Continued investigation of the recent reset and attitude control software problems now indicates that they are related to the Command Detector Unit erroneous lock problem. A bug was found in the codeblock error detection software which causes a corruption to the floating point registers. The reset and attitude control problems were caused by floating point error conditions and can be tied directly to this corruption. We are currently in the process of developing a patch to correct this problem. Congratulations to Steve Stolper and Glenn Reeves for quickly identifying the problem and developing the required fix.

A combined Project Science Group meeting involving Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Surveyor '98 was held on Thursday and Friday, February 27-28. Although there is not a great deal of overlap between Pathfinder and these other projects, there are some synergistic investigations that can be performed.

The Rover Operations Team completed a Rover Operational Readiness Test in the Mars Yard this week. Preparations are proceeding for next week's project wide surface Operations Readiness Test in the Pathfinder Sandbox. The current plan is to conduct nominal Sol 1 and 2 operations.

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