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Mars Pathfinder Update - September 22, 1997

22 September 1997, 11:00 p.m. PDT

All Sol 79 uplink and downlink activities have been completed.
Actually, the downlink ended about 45 minutes early today due to
an unexpected drop in the downlink signal strength being detected
on the ground.  Troubleshooting here on Earth failed to reveal
what the problem might be, but once contact is reacquired with
the Pathfinder lander tomorrow evening, we hope to better determine
what the problem might have been.

The Earth rose above the Martian landing site at 2 PM PDT, and the
Sun shown on our Martian dwellers at 4:30 PM PDT today. 
Data was returned from Mars today using the Deep Space Network stations
in Canberra, Australia.  Up until the final drop in signal strength,
telemetry indicates that everything continues to operate nominally on the
surface of Mars, and both the Sagan Memorial Station and Sojourner rover
continue to be in good health.

The rover wakeup song for Sol 79 was "Cashmere" by Led Zeppelin.
The third time was truely the charm, as the rover was able to promptly
position the APXS instrument onto the rock, Chimp.  Composition data is
currently being collected on this rock as the Sun is shining, and it will 
be sent down to the Earth tomorrow before the rover moves off to its next 

The Pathfinder spacecraft went to sleep prior to the Martian sunset which
occurs at 4:30 AM PDT Tuesday morning.  The lander should awaken at its
usual time at 8AM local solar or Martian time tomorrow, and downlink
should be received here on around 9 AM PDT.

For further information on the Mars Pathfinder Mission, please call
our Mission Status Report line at 1-800-391-6654.