Mars Pathfinder

Mars Pathfinder landed on mars on July 4, 1997 at 1:07 pm. Pathfinder was an unmanned probe with a rover names Sojourner. Pathfinder itself lost connection with NASA in 1999 and Sojourner lasted about 27 days after that. Possibly Sojourner went in circles around Pathfinder searching for a signal.

Mars Pathfinder used an odd way of entering the mars atmosphere. It used a parachute to slow the landing and then deployed airbags around itself. It then preformed what scientists call a "tumble drop" with the airbags cushioning the landing. Then Pathfinder not only deflated the airbags but filling them up with sand over time so that Pathfinder would not tip over in a storm. The bad part about that was that left the airbag mechanics open so they also filled up with sand. That might of been one of the causes of failure.

Mars Pathfinder landed in an area of mars called "Ares Vallis" located in the northern hemisphere. NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) chose that area because it used to be an ancient flood plain and they thought it would have tones of different kinds of rocks for Sojourner to examine.

Check out these sites, tones of info and pics about Pathfinder:


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