The goal of carrying a mass-spectrometer-based gas analyser and other payload in the small mass and cost budget available to this mission produced a craft design with the highest payload/gross mass ratio for a planetary lander. The inclusion of a tethered mobile element and a multi-tool arm gave a significant 'reach' to the payload, and offered an affordable solution to the problem of analysing rocks / sands / rock interiors with a large number of sensor heads. Extremely high


17.6 Mars Pathfinder.


17.6 Mars Pathfinder.

Figure 17.7 Sojourner.

Target Objectives Prime contractor Launch site, vehicle Launch date Arrival date

Landing site co-ordinates

(post-separation prediction) End(s) of mission(s) Mass(es)

Payload experiments

Delivery architecture Thermal aspects

Power aspects Communications architecture

EDL architecture

Landing speed(s) Active operations (deployments, etc.)

Key references


To search for evidence of past or present life on Mars EADS Astrium

Baikonour, Soyuz-Fregat (on Mars Express)



Intended primary mission: 180 days Separation/entry mass: 68.84 kg (incl. 35.4 kg EDLS and 33.2 kg lander)

Probe support equipment on Mars Express: 4.88 kg

• SCS stereo camera system (Coates)

• GAP gas analysis package (Pillinger, Wright)

• MIC microscope (Thomas)

• MBS Mossbauer spectrometer (Klingelhofer)

• XRS X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (Fraser)

• ESS environmental sensors suite (Sims, Zarnecki) Total mass: 9 kg

The Project Scientist was Colin Pillinger

Spin-up and separation from orbiter on approach, at 14 rpm and 0.3 m s-1 Active control by electrical heating; passive control by insulation and solar absorber unit on upper surface of lander base

Li-ion secondary battery and GaAs solar array Two-way UHF relay via Mars Express or Mars Odyssey. Lander-orbiter 2-128 kbps at 401.6 MHz, orbiter-lander 2-8 kbps at 437.1 MHz Entry at 5.4 km s-1 (relative), 5.63 km s-1 (inertial), flight path angle -16.5°. 0.924 m diameter, 60° blunt half cone, Norcoat Liège aeroshell. Spin-stabilised. Pilot chute deployment, aeroshell separation, main chute deployment, inflation of 3 ammonia-filled gas bags on radar altimetry signal. Jettison of gas bags 16.7 ms-1 (predicted)

Lander opening, solar panel unfolding. Robotic arm, wide-angle mirror/wind sensor boom deployment, sampling mole, rock corer/grinder Pillinger, 2003; Pillinger et al., 2003; Sims, 2004a,b;; Pullan et al., 2004; Bonnefoy et al., 2004; Wright et al., 2003

standards of planetary protection were applied to this mission, both in terms of sterilisation and cleanliness. This was due to the fact that it was destined for Mars AND carried life-detection equipment. (Figure 17.8)

Figure 17.8 Beagle 2.
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