September 1997 Volume 6 Number 3

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Figure 2: Mars Global Surveyor's Mars orbit Insertion

Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) occurs on September 11, 1997. This diagram shows the transition from Mars Global Surveyor's interplanetary cruise to the initial 45-hour capture orbit around Mars. While in this orbit, MGS takes 45 hours to go around the planet. MGS will be in this kind of orbit when it makes its first scientific observations around September 13th. After this, MGS will use aerobraking to slow down and change its orbit. By March 15, 1998, MGS will be in the proper 2-hour, circular orbit. The tick-marks (below) each represent a period of about 2 hours. Notice the orbits of the martian moons, Phobos and Deimos. The initial 45-hour orbit takes the spacecraft out past these orbits. "N" is the martian north pole.

Figure by TES Mission Planner, Kelly C. Bender and TES News Editor, K. Edgett. (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.