DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars Polar Lander. Artwork of the Mars Polar Lander splitting up on arrival at Mars. The Mars Polar Lander (centre) is due for launch in January 1999. The solar panels (upper right) which powered the craft are discarded at this stage. This lightweight spacecraft is designed to study the soil and weather on Mars. It has several imaging systems, and a robot arm will be used to collect soil samples for on-board analysis. Also on this mission are two New Millennium Project Microprobes (upper left and lower right). These will hit the surface, burying small probes in the Martian soil. They will look for water in the deeper layers.
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