Engineering Model, Lander, Mars, Pathfinder

Mars Pathfinder was the first spacecraft to land on the surface of the red planet since the Viking mission in 1976. The artifact is a full-scale engineering prototype for a spacecraft that was launched on December 4, 1996. On reaching Mars on July 4, 1997, the spacecraft entered the planet's thin atmosphere, was slowed by a parachute and then rockets, and then landed by bouncing on inflated airbags. The protective aeroshell then unfolded to provide the three flat platforms, one of which held a rover (Sojourner).

Pathfinder had a TV camera and scientific instruments to gather scientific data on the martian atmosphere and weather, as well as solar cells to provide power and communications. The lander operated for over 90 days, during which it relayed 2.3 gigabits of data including that gathered by Sojourner. Some of this data suggest the presence of large amounts of water on Mars in the distant past. The spacecraft as well as the prototype were designed and built by JPL for NASA's office of Space Science.

This engineering model was transferred to NASM by NASA in 1999.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads

Materials
Mixed metals, electronics, optics
Dimensions
Overall: 5 ft. tall x 9 ft. 1 in. wide x 10 ft. 6 in. deep (152.4 x 276.9 x 320cm)

Mars Pathfinder was the first spacecraft to land on the surface of the red planet since the Viking mission in 1976. The artifact is a full-scale engineering prototype for a spacecraft that was launched on December 4, 1996. On reaching Mars on July 4, 1997, the spacecraft entered the planet's thin atmosphere, was slowed by a parachute and then rockets, and then landed by bouncing on inflated airbags. The protective aeroshell then unfolded to provide the three flat platforms, one of which held a rover (Sojourner).

Pathfinder had a TV camera and scientific instruments to gather scientific data on the martian atmosphere and weather, as well as solar cells to provide power and communications. The lander operated for over 90 days, during which it relayed 2.3 gigabits of data including that gathered by Sojourner. Some of this data suggest the presence of large amounts of water on Mars in the distant past. The spacecraft as well as the prototype were designed and built by JPL for NASA's office of Space Science.

This engineering model was transferred to NASM by NASA in 1999.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads

Materials
Mixed metals, electronics, optics
Dimensions
Overall: 5 ft. tall x 9 ft. 1 in. wide x 10 ft. 6 in. deep (152.4 x 276.9 x 320cm)

ID: A19990073000