JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars Pathfinder. Artist's impression of the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft during its descent toward the 'red planet'. The lander is the tetrahedral box at lower right. At centre is part of the aeroshell which protected the lander during entry into the atmosphere, and at top left is the parachute which slows the lander as it approaches the surface. On each face of the lander are round capsules containing airbags which inflate to absorb the impact of landing. In addition to a variety of science instruments, the lander carries a 10-kg autonomous rover vehicle. Mars Pathfinder is scheduled for launch in November 1996, arriving on Mars in July 1997.
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