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A momentous occasion has been bestowed upon us The Mars Polar Lander will try to reach its destination of Mars southern polar ice cap The Lander was presumed to touch down on Friday December 3 1999 It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 on January 3 1999 and hopefully it has finally reached the surfaces of Mars This mission is worth 3276 million total for both orbiter and Lander not including Deep Space 2 Those figures come from 1931 million for spacecraft development 917 million for launch and 428 million for mission operations March 1 2000 is the anticipated end of the Primary Mission This truly a feat of humankind to explore and decipher the landscape of the red planet Why would we consider tampering with the planet in the first place a lot of people would ask Some of these reasons are pretty obvious It all started in the late 1870s when Giovanni Schiaparelli viewed what seemed to be canals These canals started from each respectable pole and seemed as if these canals transported water to various areas of the planet This observation sparked more exploration Although with the limited resources back then there was not much they could do Times have changed and with the available technology the feat is possible Exploration has expanded and we have learned various new things about the planet Many missions have went to Mars and explored since the first fascination with this planet and more is still to learn Hence the purpose of the mission that is upon us Another reason for the exploration is that Mars is the next most inhabitable planet next to the earth in the Solar System We wonder if that in a couple of year that we can live there But all that is in the far future The Landscape of Mars is rather treacherous learned from previous missions The polar regions of Mars
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