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Mars Polar Lander Mission StatusMarch 15, 1999
The Mars Polar Lander has successfully completed its second course correction to refine its flight path to the red planet. At 5:05 a.m. Pacific time today, the spacecraft fired its four maneuvering jets for just under 10 seconds changing its speed by a mere 0.89 meter per second (2.0 miles per hour).
The spacecraft's next maneuver is scheduled for September 1, when its flight path will be targeted for a specific landing zone near the planet's south pole. Observations of the south polar region by instruments onboard the currently orbiting Mars Global Surveyor will be used to pick a safe landing spot.
Mars Polar Lander is now 16,510,000 kilometers (10,070,000 miles) from Earth, traveling at a speed of 1,680 meters per second (3,700 miles per hour). The spacecraft will land on Mars on December 3, 1999.
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