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Life on MarsWhat to Know Before We Go$
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David A. Weintraub

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209258

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209258.001.0001

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Sniffing Martian Air with Curiosity

Sniffing Martian Air with Curiosity

Chapter:
(p.242) 15 Sniffing Martian Air with Curiosity
Source:
Life on Mars
Author(s):

David A. Weintraub

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691209258.003.0015

This chapter begins with NASA's entrance to the Mars rover business with the launch of the Pathfinder mission in 1997 and mentions the Sojourner that puttered around the surface of Mars at a speed of about 1.5 feet per minute. It recounts how the Sojourner survived for 83 days before running out of power. It also talks about the great success of the Sojourner, proving NASA had the wherewithal to land robotic rovers on Mars. The chapter points out that the Sojourner had little impact as a science mission, but the goal for the rover was engineering and the next step for NASA was to make bigger, better rovers capable of doing significant science. It refers to Sojourner's successors, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which were launched in June and July 2003.

Keywords:   NASA, Mars rover, Pathfinder mission, Sojourner, robotic rovers, Spirit rover, Opportunity rover

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