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Mars Pathfinder Update - September 24, 1997

24 September 1997, 11:30 p.m. PDT

The spacecraft woke up at 8pm tonight which is 5 hours after
Earth rise on Mars and 2 hours after sunrise.  All data from
the spacecraft and rover indicate that they are both healthy.   
We've received about 2 megabits of data from the Canberra
Australia Deep Space Network station today during our
1.5 hour downlink session.

We did not experience the problem seen for the last few
days regarding the spacecraft signal strength.  Although
we are not completely certain, it is possible that this
problem is due to an obscuration on the lander.  At a certain
time of day on Mars now, it appears as if the IMP camera is
in the line-of-sight between the High Gain Antenna and the Earth.
This is not a significent problem, because the geometry will be
changing as the days progress.

The rover woke up today to the song, "Old Time Rock-N-Roll", played
by Rover engineer, Howard Eisen.  Howard and the rover are longing
for the old times of the rolling of the Rover on the surface of
Mars.  Today the rover did not roll because of the
completion of the images of the APXS on the rock, "Chimp".
Tomorrow the rover will begin its journey toward Mermaid Dune.

Earth set on Mars will be at 4:15 AM and the Sun will set at
6:15 AM PDT on September 25.  The spacecraft will sleep for
nearly 16 hours tonight and will wake up tomorrow at around
8 PM PDT.  We should receive data from the spacecraft tomorrow 
between 10 PM and 3:30 AM PDT.

For further information on the Mars Pathfinder Mission,
please call our Mission Status Report line at