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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

23 May 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 129 million kilometers from Earth. The only significant spacecraft activity performed this week was a turn to maintain Earth point attitude. In addition, we have resumed nearly continuous DSN coverage. The total flight time since launch is now 170 days, and we have 42 days until Mars arrival.

Completed the sixth Surface Operations Readiness Test (ORT). The purpose of this test was to validate our low power and no battery contingency scenarios and correct problems from ORT #5. The test was hampered by a recurring testbed hardware problem involving the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) and the power support equipment. The problem caused the testbed flight computer to reset several times and caused the flight team to invoke reset recovery procedures instead of performing normal operations. The problem was fixed after Sol 3, at which time we restarted the test and ran through Sol 1-2 operations. In spite of this problem, the test was generally a success in that we exercised all of our core operational processes. Several other minor problems occurred, and all will be corrected by ORT #7.

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