The Mars Pathfinder meteorology mast casts a shadow on the lander solar array, as seen in this superpan mosaic. Looking to the southeast during the morning, the windsocks are slightly tilted, indicating the presence of a light wind from the southwest. The MET mast measured the temperature, pressure, and wind speed at the Pathfinder landing site. During the mission, the instrument returned 8.5 million individual measurements from the surface of Mars.
Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.
Photojournal note: Sojourner spent 83 days of a planned seven-day mission exploring the Martian terrain, acquiring images, and taking chemical, atmospheric and other measurements. The final data transmission received from Pathfinder was at 10:23 UTC on September 27, 1997. Although mission managers tried to restore full communications during the following five months, the successful mission was terminated on March 10, 1998.