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28-Dec-98 | MCO’s first TCM

MPL’s sister ship in the Mars Surveyor 1998 program, Mars Climate Orbiter, launched from Cape Canaveral at 13:45 EST on 11 December. It was successfully placed into solar orbit, is in excellent health, and will reach Mars on approximately 23 September to begin a full Martian year of observations to better understand the seasonal changes on that planet. The Delta 7425 was so accurate that MCO’s first TCM burn only changed its velocity by 19.1 metres per second (less than 43 mph), and most of that was in order to remove a launch bias used to prevent the Star 48 third stage from impacting Mars.

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