Mars Polar Lander Slide Set
A set of twenty 35mm color slides may be ordered through
Finley-Holiday Films for $8.95. They can be reached
at (800) 345-6707 or (562) 945-3325, and ask for "JPL37". Also, the slides
are available as high-resolutions images below, which you
can print out on your printer.
Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2
Unlocking Mars' History
NASA's Mars Polar Lander spacecraft began its journey to Mars on January 3,
1999. Mars Polar Lander will touch down on Mars on December 3, 1999, in a
unique region near the border of the south polar cap. The Lander carries a
descent camera, an upward-looking lidar for observing clouds, and an
integrated payload of scientific instruments designed to help scientists
better understand the history of Mars' climate.
Over the next decade, an international fleet of scientifically equipped
robotic spacecraft will arrive at the Red Planet searching for answers to
these questions and others. The data that will be returned by these
spacecraft will tell us much about the forces that shape Mars' weather, now
and in the past. A better understanding of the Mars climate will also help
us to understand the environment in which life did-or did not-develop on
Mars and thus about the potential for life elsewhere in the universe.
The New Millennium Program's Deep Space 2 mission, which launched in
January 1999, is sending two highly advanced miniature probes to Mars. Each
probe weighs just 2.4 kg (5.3 lb.) and is encased in a protective shell
(called an aeroshell), which is riding aboard Mars Polar Lander. The probes
will be the first spacecraft ever to penetrate into the subsurface of
another planet. Upon arrival just above the South Polar Region of Mars,
the basketball-sized shells will be released from the main spacecraft and
plummet through the atmosphere to impact the planet's surface at over 175
m/s (400 mph). The Mars Polar Lander mission is managed by the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory; Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, Colorado, is
NASA's industrial partner in the mission. The New Millennium Program is
sponsored by NASA's Offices of Space Science and Earth Science, and is
managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.
For questions or comments on this website please refer to our list of contacts.