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Mars Surveyor 98 Science Goals

The Mars Surveyor 1998 Missions were designed, and their payloads selected, to address the science theme "Volatiles and Climate History" on Mars, thereby directly addressing the climate-history and resource themes of the Mars Surveyor Program, while supporting the life-on-Mars theme through characterization of climate change and its evolving impact on the distribution of water.

After Earth, Mars is the planet with the most hospitable climate in the solar system. So hospitable that it may once have harbored primitive, bacteria-like life. Outflow channels and other geologic features provide ample evidence that billions of years ago liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars. Although liquid water may still exist deep below the surface of Mars, currently the temperature is too low and the atmosphere to thin for liquid water to exist at the surface.

Why explore Mars? Additional details are here.

Mars Surveyor 1998 Mission Strategy

To address the "Volatiles and Climate History" theme within the programmatic constraints of cost and affordable launch capabilities, the Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander Missions pursued the following scientific strategy:

Mars Surveyor 1998 Mission Measurement Objectives

Given the scientific strategy outlined above, the major scientific measurement objectives for the Mars Surveyor Program 1998 Missions are to:

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