SBRC built the original TES that flew on Mars Observer in 1992. They had begun work on the new TES, sometimes referred to as TES II, after Mars Observer went missing in 1993. In mid-1994, Hughes decided to move the SBRC operation to a facility in El Segundo, California, near Los Angeles. This change in plans had the potential to tighten the TES schedule (see TES News for November-December 1994). TES needs to be assembled, calibrated, and delivered to Martin Marietta's facility in Denver, Colorado, (where the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft is being built) by April 1996. Hughes reversed its decision to move from SBRC in mid-December. SBRC has a reputation for producing high quality spacecraft instruments, including the thermal infrared radiometers that were aboard the U.S. Mars spacecraft of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) will look at Mars in the infrared. This instrument will help scientists map the composition of rocks and soil on the surface of the Red Planet. It will also observe changes in the polar caps, measure the profile of dust and water vapor in the atmosphere, and provide information about surface and atmospheric temperatures. The TES shown here was flown on the lost Mars Observer. A new TES is being built by the Hughes Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC) for Mars Global Surveyor. TES is directed from a facility on the Arizona State University campus.
Many of the parts that go into TES are purchased by SBRC from small contractors that specialize in making specific parts that go into spacecraft instruments. The parts are ordered by SBRC and shipped to Santa Barbara for inclusion into the TES. The parts being produced at ASU will be complete this Spring.
Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program / email@example.com