Launch of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. MGS was launched on November 7, 1996. MGS arrived at Mars on September 11, 1997.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Instruments of the Mars Global Surveyor Mission
It has been more than 30 years since America's first exploratory missions
to Mars. Here are some of the instruments carried onboard Mars Global Surveyor (called MGS for short). Many of these instruments were inherited from the Mars Observer
mission. These instruments are designed to study the weather and surface of Mars:
- A camera to produce daily weather images
of Mars similar to weather photographs of the
Earth shown on the nightly news.
- An instrument to measure the heights of things.
- An instrument to measure the warmth of the surface of Mars.
- This instrument will also make maps of minerals found on the surface.
- An instrument to study the magnetic
properties of Mars.
Radio signals sent to Earth will reveal the precise shape of the
planet, which helps scientists figure out what the inside of Mars is like.
You might also be interested in:
An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetosphere around Mars. Previous missions did not make really good measurements...more
You may wonder how it is that scientists know what the inside of a planet is like. The interior of a moon or planet can be closely determined from spacecraft navigation data when a spacecraft passes by...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Florida. After a six-month, 285 million-mile journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The Odyssey is in its aerobraking phase right now....more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
The Mars Global Surveyor reached Mars in September of 1997. But it didn't make it into its final mapping orbit until February 1999. What took so long? Surveyor needed to reach a near-circular, low-altitude...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The picture to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement...more