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Rover Sojourner


Mission Overview

The rover is constrained to a weight of 11.5 kilograms (25.4 lb.). Another 6 kilograms (13.3 pounds) is allocated to lander-mounted rover telecommunications equipment, structural support of the rover and its deployment mechanisms. The rover has a normal height of 280 millimeters (10.9 inches), with ground clearance of 130 mm (5 inches). Its stowage space in the lander allows only 200 mm (7.8 inches) forcing it to squat to a height of 180 mm (7 inches) when stowed. The rover is 630 mm (24.5 inches) long by 480 mm (18.7 inches) wide.

Mars Pathfinder will be launched between Dec. 2, 1996 and December 25, 1996 aboard a Delta II rocket. The single spacecraft will cruise directly to Mars, enter the atmosphere with a Viking-derived heat shield and land with the aid of parachutes, rockets and airbags. Landing is scheduled for July 4, 1997, on a rocky plain in an area known today as Ares Vallis.

MFEX is funded by the NASA Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology.

For more information about other Rover subsystems, go to the About the Rover page.

Mission Objectives

The rover is primarily a technology experiment itself, designed to determine micro-rover performance in the poorly understood Martian terrain so that future rovers may be designed to be effective in navigating and moving about the surface of Mars. MFEX has three main mission objectives: technology experiments, science experiments and mission experiments.

Back to the About the Rover Page.

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