History

Mars Global Surveyor, NASA success

Mars Global Surveyor, NASA success

Mars Global Surveyor became NASA's first success in exploring Mars in two decades, following the failure of the Mars Observer orbiter.

The Mars Global Surveyor continued to work on the exploration of Mars since it was launched on November 7, 1996. It began its mapping mission a year and a half after its launch, in March 1999 and, since then, has provided a large amount of Information about the red planet.

Thanks to the wide-angle camera system available to the spacecraft, better known as the Mars Orbital Chamber, the Mars Global Surveyor mission has studied the entire surface of the red planet, as well as its atmosphere and interior.

One of the main findings of the Mars Global Surveyor has been the weather patterns of the red planet that are repeated periodically. The Mars Orbital Chamber has collected several images that have shown a record of the different changes in Martian weather conditions. In these images dust storms have been observed that are repeated in the same location, with a difference of between one and two weeks in relation to the moment in which they occurred the previous year.

The facts about Mars

The documentation made by the Mars Global Surveyor of ravines and debris flows has also been very important in the history of Mars exploration. These suggest the existence of specific sources of liquid water, similar to an aquifer, near or on the same surface of the planet.

On the other hand, thanks to the Mars Global Surveyor it has been shown that the red planet does not have a global magnetic field; However, individual fields have been located in different areas of the planet. Temperature data was also obtained, as well as close-up images of the Martian moon Phobos, which have determined that the surface of Mars is covered by a layer of dust at least one meter thick.

Results like these have shown that Mars is a dynamic planet with a recorded history on the planet's surface of long-term seasonal changes. Undoubtedly, the Mars Global Surveyor has been not only the first, but one of the great successes of NASA in the exploration of Mars

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We arrived on Mars: the Viking programMars Pathfinder on the surface of Mars