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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

28 March 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 55 million kilometers from Earth. The most significant spacecraft activity performed this week was to turn the spacecraft to a 5 degree Earth leading attitude. Regular attitude turns will be required for the remainder of cruise to keep the spacecraft pointed within 5 degrees of Earth. The propulsion and attitude control subsystems functioned flawlessly after a 7 week hiatus.

Successfully completed a set of sun recognition tests using the Prototype IMP at the University of Arizona. These tests have boosted our confidence that we can successfully perform sun search and point the High Gain Antenna after landing.

An IMP Science Team meeting was held at the University of Arizona on March 25, 26. The sequence changes for Sols 1 and 2 were reviewed. The mission plan for sols 3-5 was discussed and a scenario for the imaging observations was adopted. Discussions of image processing plans and data distribution were held and a number of contentious issues were resolved.

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