September 1997 Volume 6 Number 3

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Figure 1: Mars Global Surveyor's Flight to Mars

MGS launched November 7, 1996, and will go into orbit September 11, 1997. Each "TCM" along the path to Mars is a Trajectory Correction Maneuver, designed to make sure MGS is on-course. Once MGS reaches Mars, it will go into an elliptical orbit (Capture Orbit). Over the next several months, the orbit will shrink by using the upper atmosphere of Mars to help slow MGS down (Aerobrake Orbits). The goal is a Near-Polar Mapping Orbit, which will be about 380 km (236 mi) above the planet.

(Figure courtesy NASA/JPL. Our apologies for the poor quality of the scan.)

TES News is published quarterly by the Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program. This newsletter may be copied for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

EDITED BY Kenneth S. Edgett, Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.