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Mars Polar Lander Mission Status

January 7, 2000

The Mars Polar Lander flight team continued efforts to contact the spacecraft this week. The main effort this week focused on testing a scenario in which the spacecraft clock got scrambled after touchdown. Commands were sent to place the spacecraft in UHF safe mode, and a number of communications windows using Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) have been scheduled over the next 10 days. This is the last major effort planned to recover the vehicle, and the flight team expects to end the search next week.

Mars Global Surveyor continues to perform special targeted observations of the Mars Polar Lander landing site in hopes of imaging the lander or parachute. The project has defined a region of possible landing sites to be imaged, including some within the large crater just to the west of the nominal landing site. MGS has imaged a significant fraction of the possible landing sites, and no evidence of the lander has been observed. Additional images will be acquired over the next few weeks.

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