Boeing Delta II Rocket and Mars Polar Lander- Vintage NASA Litograph
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Original NASA lithograph
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Launch Pad 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Station, workers begin fitting the fairing, a protective cover, around the upper stage of the Boeing Delta II rocket and Mars Polar Lander.
The rocket is scheduled to launch January 3, 1999.
The lander is a solar-powered spacecraft designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there.
The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and
condensates in the Martian atmosphere. It is the second spacecraft to be launched in a pair of Mars Surveyor 98 missions.
The first was the Mars Climate Orbiter, which was launched aboard identical an
Boeing Delta II rocket from Launch Pad 17A on December 11, 1998.
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