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Cornell Selected to Lead Mars Mission

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2000
NASA has chosen Cornell University of Ithaca, N.Y., to provide the instrumentation and to lead the science team for its next surface mission to Mars, which is scheduled for launch in June 2003. The mission will feature an updated rover similar to Sojourner from the 1997 Pathfinder project. Scientific goals include an investigation of the climatic history and geology of the Martian highlands.

Courtesy of Cornell University and Dan Maas.

The lander will employ the same air-bag-assisted crash-landing technique as Pathfinder, and the 130-kg rover will have a range of 10 to 20 km over its expected one-year lifetime. Its Athena instrumentation package will feature a mast-mounted infrared and an arm-mounted Raman spectrometer for sampling rocks and soil, as well as panoramic high-resolution cameras and a microscopic imager.

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