TES NEWS, Volume 4, Number 4, December 1995

Russia's Mars '96 Mission Includes Orbiter, Four Landers

text follows figure...

Russia's Mars '96 Surface Station. Two landers such as this will land on Mars in late 1997.

An armada of spacecraft are headed toward Mars a year from now. In addition to Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder, Russia is planning to launch Mars '96 on November 16, 1996.

Mars '96 includes an orbiter and four landers. They will reach Mars around December 9, 1997. Two of the landers are called "Surface Stations." These are illustrated above. They will carry instruments which include the Mars Oxidant (MOX) experiment, headed by at team at NASA Ames Research Center. Former Arizona State University student Marsha Presley, who got her Ph.D. in May 1995 working with the ASU TES group, is now at NASA Ames working with the MOX team.

Ruslan Kuzmin, a TES Participating Scientist at the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow, reported in September 1995, that the two Surface Stations are slated to land in Mars' Amazonis Planitia, at sites centered on 41.3 N, 153.6 W and 32.5 N, 169.3 W.

The other two Mars '96 landers are "Penetrators." They will plunge into the ground and measure subsurface properties. They, too, will land somewhere in Amazonis Planitia, according to Kuzmin.

Mars Global Surveyor has an antenna supplied by France that will help relay the data from the four Russian landers.

For more information about Mars '96, see the World Wide Web page at http://www.iki.rssi.ru/mars96/mars96hp.html.

Back to Contents of of TES News December 1995