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Flight Status Report

Friday, 15 November 1996

Preparations are underway to execute the first trajectory correction maneuver next Thursday. This burn will change Surveyor's velocity by 27 meters per second to correct for small errors in the spacecraft's flight path to Mars.

This past week, the flight team continued to perform diagnostic work to gain insight into the discrepancy in position of one of the two solar arrays. By examining data from Sun sensors mounted on the arrays, the flight team was able to learn the position of the Sun relative to the arrays. This data, and data from other diagnostics, allowed the flight team to determine that the array with the position discrepancy is slanted at an angle about 20.5 degrees from the intended position.

Work is currently in progress to determine the best solution to move the array back to its intended position. These solutions will be analyzed in more detail after the trajectory correction maneuver.

Surveyor is 2.4 million miles from the Earth and moving away with a velocity of 3.19 kilometers per second. The performance and health status of all the spacecraft's sub-systems continues to be excellent.