Mars Global Surveyor Mars Weather update 2-8 April 2002

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2002

The Mars Global Surveyor Spacecraft entered contingency mode on 1 April 2002 for the fifth time since the beginning of the extended mission, and the second time in five weeks. As before, the proximal cause of C-mode entry was an error in the the attitude control system's processing of star observations. Also, as before, it has taken over a week to recover from C-mode. As of 8 April, the spacecraft was executing a special, minimal science sequence that permits partial global monitoring. Fragments of two global image pairs were obtained on 8 April, covering a portion of the planet from Sinai Planum in the southeast to Arcadia Planitia and the seasonal north polar cap to the northwest. No signs of dust storm activity were observed, but the images showed extensive water-ice cloud cover over Tharsis Montes, Olympus Mons, and just east of Alba Patera.

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