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System Level Assembly

Each Deep Space 2 system includes a probe mounted into an aeroshell covered by a thermal blanket, which keeps the probes warm during the 11-month cruise to Mars. The aeroshell is attached to the larger spacecraft's Interface Structure which in turn is attached to the Mars '98 Lander cruise ring.

Upon arrival at Mars, the Mars Lander spacecraft separates from its cruise ring. The Deep Space 2 Interface Structure senses when the Lander leaves and initiates a sequence of events which releases the aeroshells approximately 18 seconds later. The thermal blankets burn off during atmospheric entry and prior to peak heating. The aeroshells shatter when they hit the surface of Mars, releasing the probes inside so they can penetrate the surface.

Deep Space 2 Flight System Just Prior to Installation Onto Mars '98 Lander.

Two Probe Systems Mounted on the Mars Polar Lander Spacecraft.

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This page last updated: October 29, 1999
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