Update -- November 3: JPL is expected to announce Tuesday that contact has not been restored with Mars Pathfinder, and that all efforts to restore contact will essentially end. There have been no successful communications with Pathfinder since September 27 and no contact at all since a brief signal on October 7. A combination of a dead battery and very cold temperatures is believed to behind the communications blackout, although the exact cause may not be known. Attempts will continue to contact Pathfinder, but only on a weekly ot monthly basis. There is some hope that contact could be restored next Martian summer, when temperatures on the surface at the landing site warm up again.
On July 4, NASA's Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, launched eight months before, landed on the planet Mars, the first spacecraft to touch down on the surface since the Viking missions in 1976. Pathfinder represents the first spacecraft of a renewed effort to study the Red Planet, one that may lead to human missions to the planet sometime early next century. This Web site provides some background information on the mission and general information on Mars and future missions.
Information on the Mars Pathinder Mission and plans for the future, including articles from the pages of SpaceViews and SpaceViews Update.
Life on Mars?
Last August a team of scientists found evidence that primitive life may have once existed on the Red Planet. Although their findings are still coming under scrutiny, the discovery raised interest about Mars and the possibilities for life there. Learn more about the Mars life story, including updated information, in our special section.
What does Pathfinder look like? What about its rover, Sojourner? Find out here in this collection of images and illustrations of the mission.
Think you know a thing or two about Mars Pathfinder? Take this quiz and find out! Answer all the questions correctly and you can join the Martian Hall of Fame! (New - July 14!)
The Web is full of information about Mars. We've compiled a list of some of the best links about Mars, missions to Mars, and plans for the future, all just one click away... (updated July 11)
Last Update: 1997 November 3