Overview of the Mars Pathfinder Mission and assessment of landing site predictions

M. P. Golombek, R. A. Cook, T. Economou, W. M. Folkner, A. F.C. Haldemann, P. H. Kallemeyn, J. M. Knudsen, R. M. Manning, H. J. Moore, T. J. Parker, R. Rieder, J. T. Schofield, P. H. Smith, R. M. Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Chemical analyses returned by Mars Pathfinder indicate that some rocks may be high in silica. Implying diffentiated parent materials. Rounded pebbles and cobbles and a possible conglomerate suggest fluvial processes that imply liquid water in equilibrium with the atmospher and thus a warmer and wetter past. The moment of inertia indicates a central metallic core of 1300 to 2000 kilometers in radius. Composite airborne dust particles appear magnetized by freeze-dried maghemite stain or cement that may have been leached from crustal materials by an active hydrologic cycle. Remote-sensing data at a scale of generally greater than ~1 kilometer and an Earth analog correctly predicted a rocky plain safe for landing and roving with a variety of rocks deposited by catastrophic floods that are relatively dust-free.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1748
Number of pages6
Issue number5344
StatePublished - Dec 5 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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