About TES and Mars Odyssey
TES Fact Sheet

The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) was a special instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Its main tasks were to monitor the atmosphere, map rock mineralogies, and detect heat. These observations, made for nearly a decade, yielded much information on the physical and thermal properties of the Martian environment and surface.

  • TES was a multi-spectral interferometer and bolometer

  • Spectrometer Channels:
    cover 6 to 50 microns (1700 to 200 cm-1), available at either 5 or 10 cm-1 spectral sampling

  • Two Bolometer Channels:
    5.5-100 microns and 0.3-2.7 microns

  • Spatial Resolution:
    3 kilometers per pixel

  • Chief Science Goals:
    1. Determine the composition and distribution of surface materials

    2. Determine the composition, particle size, and spatial and temporal distribution of suspended dust

    3. Determine the location, temperature, height, and water abundance of H2O clouds

    4. Determine the composition, seasonal behavior, total energy balance, and physical properites of the polar caps

    5. Determine the particle size distribution of rocks and fine particles on the surface
  • Principal Investigator:
    Philip Christensen, Arizona State University

  • More details on TES:
    Christensen, P.R., et al. (1992) Thermal Emission Spectrometer Experiment: Mars Observer Mission, Journal of Geophysical Research, 97, 7719-7734.

Mars Odyssey Mission Fact Sheet

  • Launched:
    November 7, 1996, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida

  • Cruise to Mars:
    about 310 days (10 months)

  • Mars arrival:
    September 12, 1997

  • Aerobraking & Science Phase Data Collection:
    completed February 1999

  • Science mapping:
    began February 28, 1999

  • Contact lost:
    November 2, 2006

  • Spacecraft dimensions:
    4 x 4 x 6 feet (1.2 x 1.2 x 1.8 meters)
    40 feet (12 meters) across with fully deployed solar panels
    Spacecraft mass (at Mars): 1,691 pounds (767 kilograms)

  • Main instruments:
  • Mars Global Surveyor site at Jet Propulsion Laboratory