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Mars Global Surveyor Update - September 13, 1997

Mars Global Surveyor
Flight Status Report 
Saturday, 13 September 1997

	At 11:59 p.m. PDT, Surveyor is climbing upward toward the high 
point of its second orbit around Mars. This point lies at an altitude of 
33,569 miles (54,024 km), and will be reached at 1:58 p.m. on Sunday. 
Currently, the spacecraft's velocity relative to the surface of Mars 
measures 1,696 m.p.h. (758 meters per second).

	The starting point of Surveyor's second orbit was over a location 
just north of a dark feature called Syrtis Major. On August 20th, the 
camera obtained a long-range image of this area while on approach to the 
red planet. This image is available for public access on the Surveyor web 
	Early Saturday morning, the flight team transmitted the T2 command 
sequence to Surveyor. This sequence will control the spacecraft for the 
next two days and contains tasks that will configure Surveyor and its 
science payload for orbital operations at Mars. 

	One of the first activities in T2 was the activation of the 
Magnetometer, Mars Orbiter Camera, and Thermal Emission Spectrometer 
science instruments on Saturday evening. For a period of four hours after 
activation, the three science teams monitored data transmitted from 
Surveyor to verify the health status of their instruments.   

	The magnetometer and spectrometer will now begin to collect data on 
a continuous basis. Unlike the previous two instruments, the camera must 
be pointed directly at the planet in order to perform imaging. The first 
of these opportunities will occur during a 15-minute time period centered 
at the start of third orbit on Monday at 12:28 p.m. PDT. In addition, the 
Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter will also collect science data during 
Monday's opportunity.

	Surveyor will store the information from the science instruments on 
its solid-state data recorders. On every orbit, the data will be 
transmitted back to Earth during two sessions. One of these sessions will 
occur just after the start of the orbit. The other one will take place 
half an orbit later, about three hours after passing through the high 

	After a mission elapsed time of 310 days from launch, Surveyor is 
158.64 million miles (255.31 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an 
orbit around Mars with a period of 45 hours. The spacecraft is currently 
executing the T2 command sequence, and all systems continue to be in 
excellent condition.

Status report prepared by:
Office of the Flight Operations Manager
Mars Surveyor Operations Project
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91109