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Flight Status Report

Friday, 28 March 1997

No major activities occurred onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft this week. Meanwhile, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Surveyor's navigation team has completed their preliminary assessment of the trajectory correction maneuver that took place on March 20th. This short firing of the spacecraft's main rocket engine resulted in a velocity change of 3.875 meters per second and refined Surveyor's flight path to Mars.

Initial analysis provided by the navigation team indicates that the spacecraft performed the maneuver with an accuracy of greater than 99%. Consequently, the spacecraft is now on a flight path that will come within 630 kilometers of the Martian surface at the point of closest approach on September 12th. Additional trajectory correction maneuvers scheduled for April 21st and August 25th will reduce this approach altitude to 500 and 380 kilometers, respectively.

After a mission elapsed time of 141 days from launch, Surveyor is 54.12 million kilometers from the Earth, 58.29 million kilometers from Mars, and is moving in an orbit around the Sun with a velocity of 25.82 kilometers per second. This orbit will intercept Mars on September 12th, 1997. The spacecraft is currently executing the C6 command sequence, and all systems continue to be in excellent condition.

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Status report prepared by:

Office of the Flight Operations Manager
Mars Surveyor Operations Project
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91109
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