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1997


March

LPI publishes Proceedings of Lunar and Planetary Science, Volume 22, the final volume in the prestigious and historic series.

 

February 4–5

The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technical Interchange Meeting is held at the LPI. The purpose of the meeting, convened by David Kaplan, is to reinvigorate the technical community by means of a discussion of technologies that could be applied to the identification, extraction, storage, and utilization of resources derived from extraterrestrial sources and applied in a useful manner to future space missions.

 


April 24–27
The Conference on Early Mars: Geologic and Hydrologic Evolution, Physical and Chemical Environments, and the Implications for Life is held at the LPI. The conference, convened by Stephen Clifford, Allan Treiman, and Horton Newsom, is designed to promote the exchange of new ideas and rigorous assessment of the current understanding of the early martian environment.

 

July 4
Mars Pathfinder lands on Mars. The lander, which would be formally named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station following its successful touchdown, and the rover, named Sojourner after American civil rights crusader Sojourner Truth, will both outlive their design lives — the lander by nearly three times, and the rover by 12 times.

 

August

LPI releases 3D Tour of the Solar System. Created by Paul Schenk, David Gwynn, and James Tutor, the CD-ROM features three-dimensional images of the planets, their satellites, asteroids, and the Sun, allowing “armchair astronomers” to explore the solar system in vibrant realistic detail.

 

September 11
Mars Global Surveyor arrives at Mars. Signaling the U.S.’s return to Mars after a 20-year absence, the spacecraft’s primary mission is designed to circle the planet once every 118 minutes at an average altitude of 378 kilometers (235 miles).

 

October 15
The Cassini-Huygens space probe launches. A joint NASA/ESA/ASI robotic spacecraft mission designed to study the planet Saturn and its moons, the spacecraft consists of two main elements:  the Cassini orbiter, named after the Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the Huygens probe, named after the Dutch astronomer, mathematician, and physicist Christiaan Huygens.



 

Launch of Cassini spacecraft and Huygens probe Mars Pathfinder Lita Holley processes proposals in preparation for review panels Paul Schenk LPSC participants view stereo images with 3-D glasses Cass Runyon and George McGill at the LPSC publishers’ exhibit 1997 LPI Interns Ralph Harvey and Allan Treiman