Timetable of Coverage


Schedule of events covered on NASA TV

 Day        UTC       EST     
Friday     17:00     Noon         Pre-landing press briefing
Friday     19:00     2:00 p.m.    Live commentated coverage of landing activities
            -22:00    -5:00 p.m. 
Friday     22:00     5:00 p.m.    Press briefing on first results from the landing
Friday/    03:30    10:30 p.m.    Live commentated coverage of landed activities
 Saturday   -07:00    -2:00 a.m. 
Saturday   07:30     2:30 a.m.    Press briefing with images and other data from the 
                                  extended transmission

First possible news about the lander ~3:39 p.m. EST
First possible news about the probes ~10:45 p.m. EST

Mars Polar Lander / Deep Space 2 Timetable

Times starting Friday, 3 December 1999 in Earth Received Time (ERT). Light travel time is approximately 14 minutes. The spacecraft altitude and velocity relative to Mars are in parenthesis.

 ERT      ERT       Time from    
(UTC)    (EST)      Landing        
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
08:00   3:00 a.m.  -12 hrs         End of final navigation tracking pass
11:00   6:00 a.m.  - 9 hrs         Command transmitted to spacecraft to 
                                   enable or disable Trajectory Correction
                                   Maneuver 5 (TCM-5)
13:25   8:25 a.m.  - 6 hrs 50 min  TCM-5 burn begins (if enabled)
13:53   8:53 a.m.  - 6 hrs 22 min  TCM-5 Playback (if TCM-5 enabled)
14:39   9:39 a.m.  - 5 hrs 36 min  Turn spacecraft away from Earth for final 
                                   stellar data acquisiton, signal loss from 
                                   spacecraft
14:42   9:42 a.m.  - 5 hrs 33 min  Turn on heaters on descent engine
17:34  12:34 p.m.  - 2 hrs 41 min  Turn on heaters on decent camera (MARDI)
18:49   1:49 p.m.  - 1 hr  26 min  Turn spacecraft back to Earth point, acquire
                                   spacecraft signal, acquire health & status
19:21   2:21 p.m.  - 54 min        Begin Entry, Descent, Landing sequence
19:26   2:26 p.m.  - 49 min        Pyros fire to pressurize helium tank
20:00   3:00 p.m.  - 15 min        Guidance system initialization
                                   (2210 km, 6.2 km/s)
20:03   3:03 p.m.  - 12 min        Turn spacecraft to entry attitude, loss of
                                   signal.  Last signal until after landing.
                                   (1426 km, 6.4 km/s)
20:05   3:05 p.m.  - 10 min        Cruise ring/Deep Space 2 probes separate 
                                   from lander
                                   (959 km, 6.6 km/s)
20:10   3:10 p.m.  - 5 min         Atmospheric entry
                                   (142 km, 6.9 km/s)
20:11   3:11 p.m.  - 4 min         Descent radar powered on
20:12   3:12 p.m.  - 3 min         MARDI instrument powered on
20:13   3:13 p.m.  - 2 min 10 sec  Parachute deployed
                                   (9.0 km, 496 m/s)
20:13   3:13 p.m.  - 2 min 03 sec  Descent imaging begins, heatshield jettisoned
                                   (8.0 km, 286 m/s)
20:13   3:13 p.m.  - 1 min 30 sec  Lander legs deployed, descent radar activated
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 53 sec        Radar ground acquisition, altitude
                                   (2.438 km, 80 m/s)
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 43 sec        Lander separates from backshell, powered descent
                                   begins
                                   (1.628 km, 78 m/s)
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 40.4 sec      Radar ground acquisition, speed & direction
                                   (1.425 km, 82 m/s)
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 40 sec        Gravity turn begins
                                   (1.394 km, 83 m/s)
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 39 sec        Roll to landed orientation
                                   (1.307 km, 79 m/s)
20:14   3:14 p.m.  - 11 sec        Radar cutoff
                                   (40 meters, 13 m/s)
20:15   3:15 p.m.  -  7 sec        Constant Velocity Phase
                                   (12 meters, 2.4 m/s)
20:15   3:15 p.m.  + 0 sec         Touchdown.  Mars Polar Lander has landed on Mars.
20:20   3:20 p.m.  + 5 min         Lander unfolds solar panels
20:23   3:23 p.m.  + 8 min         Medium gain antenna pointed at Earth
20:39   3:39 p.m.  + 24 min        Lander begins 1st transmission to Earth (45
                                   minutes). Sends health & status, meteorology & 
                                   1 b/w image.
21:24   4:24 p.m.  + 1 hr 09 min   Lander ends transmission to Earth.
21:45   4:45 p.m.  + 1 hr 30 min   Lander powers down to sleep so it can recharge
22:10   5:10 p.m.  + 1 hr 55 min   Start of 1 hour backup downlink opportunity
                                   (if spacecraft went into safemode during landing)        

02:50   9:50 p.m.  + 6 hrs 35 min  Lander wakes up, receives instructions from Earth
03:25  10:25 p.m.  + 7 hrs 10 min  Begin DS2 microprobe data reception via Mars
                                   Global Surveyor relay (15 minute transmission)            
04:25  11:25 p.m.  + 8 hrs 10 min  2.5 hour downlink begins, could include lander
                                   and descent images
06:25   1:45 a.m.  + 10 hrs 30 min Lander shuts itself down until next day.
                                   End of Sol 0 activities.


 Images and Data from Mars Polar Lander
 Images and Information on the Landing Site
 Mars Polar Lander home page at NSSDC
 Deep Space 2 home page at NSSDC
 Mars Home Page

Author/Curator:
Dr. David R. Williams, dwilliam@nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
NSSDC, Mail Code 633
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
+1-301-286-1258
NSSDC Logo
NASA Official: J. H. King, joseph.h.king@gsfc.nasa.gov
Last Updated: 18 December 2001, DRW