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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

14 March 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 44 million kilometers from Earth. We experienced a minor command error this week when a command was sent to activate a sequence which was not on-board. The spacecraft rejected the command as expected, but we have tightened up our command approval process to prevent future incidents. The set of Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) communications tests started last week were completed this week. All of the Deep Space Network hardware and software elements required to support EDL communications are performing as expected.

EDL Flight software testing is progressing well, and has been the primary focus of testbed activities this week. A full scale airbag retraction test is planned for Friday, March 14 in the
Mars sandbox in Building 230.

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