Report

Overview of the Mars Pathfinder Mission and Assessment of Landing Site Predictions

Science  05 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5344, pp. 1743-1748
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5344.1743

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

Chemical analyses returned by Mars Pathfinder indicate that some rocks may be high in silica, implying differentiated parent materials. Rounded pebbles and cobbles and a possible conglomerate suggest fluvial processes that imply liquid water in equilibrium with the atmosphere and thus a warmer and wetter past. The moment of inertia indicates a central metallic core of 1300 to 2000 kilometers in radius. Composite airborne dust particles appear magnetized by freeze-dried maghemite stain or cement that may have been leached from crustal materials by an active hydrologic cycle. Remote-sensing data at a scale of generally greater than ∼1 kilometer and an Earth analog correctly predicted a rocky plain safe for landing and roving with a variety of rocks deposited by catastrophic floods that are relatively dust-free.

View Full Text

Related Content