Antenna Sends Stream of New Mars Images
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1 -- A portfolio of high-resolution images from Mars will soon begin arriving at Earth receiving stations following the deployment of the Mars Global Surveyor's high-power communications antenna.
The antenna had been stowed since launch in November 1996 to reduce its chances of being contaminated by exhaust from the spacecraft's main engine, which was fired periodically throughout the mission. This stowed position required that scientists turn the entire spacecraft to transmit data to Earth. Now that the high-gain antenna is deployed and steerable, it can simultaneously study Mars and communicate with Earth.
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