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UPDATE # 65 - January 9, 1998

PART 1: January Web Chat Schedule
PART 2: Transitioning to Mars Team Online
PART 3: Journal Report: Bridget Landry's Final Days on Pathfinder
PART 4: Learning Technologies Channel January Schedule
PART 5: Mars Global Surveyor Flight Status Report
PART 6: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it!


Thursday, January 15, 9:30-10:30 a.m., PST, Ken Edgett
Back by popular demand is Ken Edgett! Ken is the director of the Arizona
Mars K-12 Education Program, a Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission
Spectrometer Team affiliate, and, as if that weren't enough, he's also the
editor of "Mars Underground News" at Arizona State University.

Thursday, January 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m., PST, Mark Adler
Mark is the Mars Exploration Program architect and Mars Sample Return
study manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
This will be a good opportunity to ask about NASA's upcoming plans for
going to Mars and what we plan to do once we get there!

To participate in these chat you'll need to do two things:
1. preregister by going to:
and clicking on RSVP

2. prepare for the chats by reading both experts' biographies at:

Look forward to chatting with you!


As part of this project's transition from Live From Mars to Mars Team
Online, you may have noticed that the discuss-lfm list has been
terminated. In its place are two different lists.

One list is focused on the next Passport to Knowledge project called Live
From the Rain Forest and is hosted on a different computer. You'll hear
about that list separately from PTK.

The other list remains on Quest and is simply called discuss. The purpose
of this list is similar to discuss-lfm, namely a place where teachers
share ideas, information and help. However, the focus of discuss is
broader then just Mars. This dialogue on discuss includes all of the
projects on Quest, covering NASA topics like shuttle/station, aeronautics,
women role models for girls, etc. Certainly, Mars is included so this list
will continue to be useful for information on teaching about Mars.

We've taken the liberty of including everybody from the discuss-lfm list
on the discuss list. We figured this was the best way to maintain
continuity without unduly burdening you with having to resubscribe. If
you'd like to catch up with the past messages on the list go to:
Recently the discussion has been about hands-on science, the role of
writing in teaching science, and other things.

No doubt, some people will not want to be part of this list. If you want
to unsubscribe, send a message to: listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov
and in the message body write: unsubscribe discuss


If you have any problems with unsubscribing, please send a note to our
friendly human interface, Chris (ctanski@quest.arc.nasa.gov)
and he'll see to it that your name is removed from the list.

Thanks for bearing with us during this transition. I hope you'll
consider contributing to the discuss list with some of the same
vigor which has made discuss-lfm such a great success.


Bridget is the deputy uplink systems engineer on Pathfinder. What this
really means is that she makes the computers on the ground talk the same
language as the computers on the spacecraft.

All Good Things Must Come to an End.....

December 15, 1997

The final press conference has been held. We will keep trying to contact
the spacecraft, but we don't hold out much hope. Pathfinder has been such
a success, and yet....we always want more.

Because the data rate was so much higher than anticipated, we received
more data in the 87 sols we were active than we would have in a full
1-Earth-year extended mission at the expected rate. However, we missed the
dust storm season, and we covered less than a quarter of Mars' year (which
is just about double Earth's) which means we saw less than one season. We
wanted to document seasonal changes in the atmosphere and the surface, to
measure the growth of the dust storms, and study their high winds. We
wanted to try to take a picture of a dust devil, if we could predict when
they might happen...we *always* want more.

But what we achieved was spectacular: more than 16,000 IMP images, several
hundred rover images, 20 rock and soil analyses, innumerable temperature,
pressure and wind measurements. We'll be chewing on this data for a long
while. And yet...

We held a wake for the spacecraft last Saturday. It was good for everyone,
I think, to talk about her, remember her in her glory days. Many people
have moved on, and it was good to see them again, right that we all be
together once more. I know "closure" and "resolution" have become
over-used words, but it was what we all needed. I feel better, and more
able to move on, now.

Back to the Beginning...

January 7, 1998

I hate looking for a job, but it has a rhythm to it: hear (or read) about
an opening, send out a resume, call for an interview.  Make sure friends
in the biz know you're looking, in case they hear something.  Find out who
you know on projects you'd like to join, and drop them a line.

Lots of things stirring here. Cassini has launched, and is in for a
seven-year cruise, which means people who build things are leaving and
people who plan things are just getting started. Galileo is moving into
extended missions, which can be very improvisational. And there's a whole
slew of Mars missions, imaginatively named: Mars '98, Mars '01, Mars '03.
Mars Global Surveyor is in the same laying off/hiring mode that Cassini is
in, complicated by the fact that their aerobraking mission has to be
revamped, due to the problems with their solar panels.

Ideally, I'd like to stay on Mars, and move more toward being an interface
between scientists and engineers. (Although both can be incomprehensible
to a lay person, they do NOT speak the same language--worse yet, they use
the same words to mean different things! (Rather like what often happens
between men and women!) In addition, they have different priorities, which
often conflict. Since my degrees are in sciences, but I've worked in
engineering jobs, I can speak to both sides and interpret, and I think I'd
be pretty good at it.) Where I'll actually end up is anyone's guess. Wish
me luck!


You may remember that the Learning Technologies Channel provides you with
a location on the Internet to participate in online courses and to
remotely attend some NASA workshops and seminars. Below is a schedule of
events for January. Sign up now!

Friday, January 9:
* Registration for Teach With the Internet begins.
* This extension credit course is all about using Internet projects and
resources to teach. This course is being cosponsored by the Autodesk
Foundation and San Francisco State University.

Monday, January 12:
* Every Monday and Wednesday from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. PST. This series will
continue through May 29, 1998.
* Young Astronauts Two. This course will continue the space themes
introduced in Young Astronauts One, with more emphasis on the Earth.
Students will discover how humans affect our planet and how science and
technology are used to monitor and improve our quality of life. The
program will feature guest appearances by astronauts and scientists.

Tuesday, January 13:
* Every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 - 12:30 p.m., PST. This series
will continue through May 29, 1998.
* Young Astronauts One: This course will introduce students to the
structure and nature of the universe including units on flight rocketry,
spacecraft and space stations. The program will feature guest appearances
by astronauts and scientists.

Wednesday, January 14:
* 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. PST
* A chat with the "Aerodynamic in Sports Technology" research team.

Thursday, Jan 15:
* A day celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday and launching the
Quest Project's recognition of Black History Month.
* Today Peggy Motes, the director of the Muncie Community Schools
Planetarium in Muncie, Indiana, will host a day of lectures on the use of
the Polaris to assist slaves to freedom.

Tuesday, Jan 20:
* 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. PST
* U.S. Department of Education's Satellite Town Meeting: "Serving
Students With Disabilities: What Families, Schools and Communities Need to

Thursday, Jan 29:
* 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PST
* Attend a live lecture and chat session with the "Aerodynamic in Sports
Technology" research team. This team has been recording data from some of
the top tennis players around the world to study how the tennis ball

For more information on the Quest Team's Learning Technology Channel,
visit the Web site at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/schedule.html


December 23, 1997

The dust storm that the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft successfully side
stepped last month has largely faded in intensity. Although haze and other
effects in the Martian atmosphere continue to be observed, the core of the
storm has dissipated, and the Surveyor spacecraft has resumed its normal
pace of aerobraking. However, the flight team's atmospheric advisory group
will continue to monitor conditions closely because the dust storm season
on Mars extends well into next year.

Over the last 10 days, eight passes through the atmosphere have reduced
the altitude of the orbit's high point by 1239 miles (1994 km) and
decreased the period of revolution around the red planet by 1.9 hours.

In addition to aerobraking operations, members of the flight team are
currently developing operational scenarios for detailed science
observations between May 1998 and September 1998. During that time, are
currently developing operational scenarios for detailed science
observations between May 1998 and September 1998. During that time,
aerobraking will be temporarily placed  on hiatus. This pause will provide
the science teams with an opportunity to conduct detailed observations of
the red planet free from the operational constraints imposed by
atmospheric operations. The final mapping orbit will be reached in March

After a mission elapsed time of 411 days from launch, Surveyor is 196.1
million miles (315.63 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an orbit
around Mars with a high point of 23,229 miles (37,384 km), a low point of
76.1 miles (122.4 km), and a period of 27.7 hours. The spacecraft is
currently executing the P71 command sequence, and all systems continue to
perform as expected. The next status report will be released Friday,
January 9.

Happy New Years from the Mars Global Surveyor Flight Operations


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