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Flight Status Report

Wednesday, 20 November 1996

Today, at 6:35 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, the onboard computer commanded the firing of a pyrotechnic device to open valve number six in the propulsion system. The opening of the valve allowed high-pressure helium to flow from its storage tank into Surveyor’s propellant tanks. About three minutes after opening the valve, the pressure in the propellant tanks reached the required value of 270 pounds per square inch.

Pressurizing the propellant tanks was necessary to allow Surveyor’s main rocket engine to perform properly during tomorrow’s scheduled trajectory correction maneuver. The maneuver will occur at about 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. In preparation for tomorrow’s activities, the sequence of commands necessary to control the maneuver was uplinked to the spacecraft’s flight computers this morning.

All systems are currently go for tomorrow’s maneuver. Surveyor is now 3.7 million kilometers from the Earth and moving away at a velocity of 3.15 kilometers per second.