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UPDATE #69 - March 22, 1998

PART 1: March 27 Webchat With Jim Bell, Astronome
PART 2: Live Webcast with Space Station Mir about Mars
PART 3: Schedule for Upcoming Bilingual Webchats
PART 4: Mars Global Surveyor Flight Status Report
PART 5: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it

[Dan Helfman will be writing the updates and helping to manage Mars Team Online while Sandy Dueck is out on maternity leave.]


Just a reminder: There is still time to sign up for the MTO Web chat 
with astronomer Jim Bell on Friday, March 27 at 11 a.m., PST. Jim studies
pictures of data about Mars from telescopes and NASA spacecraft missions.
Be sure to read Jim's bio at: 

To register for the chat go to:


Mon. March 23, 9:45 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. EST: "From Mir to Mars," a live 
Webcast with Space Station Mir, will take place on PBS Online. Alan Alda,
host of the PBS science series SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS, will
conduct an interview with NASA astronaut Andrew Thomas.

To join the Webcast, visit the "From Mir to Mars" web site -- which 
includes lots of information on Mir, NASA missions, Mars, and other 
related facts and resources -- at http://www.pbs.org/saf/mirtomars

There you will find a link to the Webcast at 9:45 a.m. EST on Monday. 
The half-hour Webcast will include a set-up period, featuring Alda and
FRONTIERS producers preparing for the interview, and the 15-minute
interview itself. Thomas will describe the physical and psychological
effects of living in Space and the methods used for counteracting those
effects. He'll also discuss how he believes astronauts on a mission to
Mars might be affected by being too far away to look back and see Earth.


During the months of April and May the Quest Project will host a series
of web chats to be conducted in Spanish and English. Questions which are
posted in Spanish will be answered in Spanish and those asked in English
will be answered in English. 

Each Sharing NASA project will feature web chats with Spanish speaking
scientists and engineers that work at NASA. We trust that you and your
students will enjoy participating in this unique chat environment!

To sign up for any of these chats, please see

Fri. April 3, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., PST, Luis Rodriguez: Luis is a
safety and payload integration engineer for experiments flown on board
the space shuttle, the Space Station Mir, and International Space
Station Freedom. He makes sure that design engineers and scientists use
NASA-approved materials, chemicals, and electrical components when
designing their experiments. Check out Luis' biography at:

Thurs. April 23, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., PST, Felix A. Soto Toro: Felix
is a design engineer for hardware and software automated systems. He
reviews systems found at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in order to speed
up the time and maintain the maximum safety levels necessary to process
the experiments only found at KSC. Take a look at Felix's biography at:

Thurs. April 30, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., PST, Estela Hernandez: Estela
is a flight simulation engineer at the Vertical Motion Simulator. She
analyzes mathematical models for development in real-time software and
interfaces computers with the simulator's cockpit and lab hardware.
Read Estela's bio at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/

Tues. May 5, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., PST, Dora Lopez: Dora is a 
Network Engineer, supporting the Earth Observing System (EOS), Mission
to Planet Earth project under a program called the NASA Research and 
Education Network (NREN). She basically takes EOS's requirements and
fits them into NREN's architecture. Read more about Dora at:

Tues. May 12, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., PST, Debbie Martinez. Debbie
works in the Simulation Systems Branch (SSB), which manages unique
state-of-the-art Flight Simulation Facilities. Her job consists of 
supporting the researcher community with their particular flight 
research project studies utilizing our simulation facilities. Go to
Debbie's biography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/women/bios/

Tues. May 19, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m., PST, Estella Gillette. As 
Director of Equal Opportunity Programs, assures that the employees
at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) are provided with opportunities for
career development and advancement. Look for Estella's bio at:


[Editor's note: This flight status report was prepared by the Office of
the Flight Operations Manager, Mars Surveyor Operations Project, Jet
Propulsion Laboratory.]

February 13, 1998

Aerobraking operations continue to proceed smoothly for the Mars Global 
Surveyor spacecraft. Since arrival at Mars last September, Surveyor has 
completed 174 orbits, and aerobraking has reduced the period of 
revolution around the planet from its initial high of 45 hours down to
its current value of 13.2 hours. The flight team anticipates that 
aerobraking will continue to proceed unimpeded due to the low probability
of another major dust storm at Mars.

The flight team is currently preparing for the temporary suspension of 
aerobraking and the reactivation of the science payload. This transition
will occur about two weeks from now when the orbit period has been 
reduced to 11.6 hours. At that time, Surveyor will fire its thrusters to 
raise the low point of its orbit out of the atmosphere. This temporary 
aerobraking hiatus will allow the science teams to collect data during 
the spring and summer months of this year. In addition, the hiatus is 
also necessary so that Mars will be in the proper position in its orbit
around the Sun when aerobraking finishes and mapping commences next

After a mission elapsed time of 491 days from launch, Surveyor is 218.63
million miles (351.85 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an orbit
around Mars with a high point of  12,453 miles (20,041 km), a low point
of 72.8 miles (117.2 km), and a period of 13.2 hours. The spacecraft is
currently executing the P175 command sequence, and all systems continue
to perform as expected. The next status report will be released between
March 25th and April 1st.


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