Mars Pathfinder Mission Space

Launched on December 4, 1996 by NASA aboard a Delta II booster a month after the Mars Global Surveyor was launched, it landed on July 4, 1997 on Mars’s Ares Vallis, in a region called Chryse Planitia in the Oxia Palus quadrangle. The lander then opened, exposing the rover which conducted many experiments on the Martian surface.
The mission carried a series of scientific instruments to analyze the Martian atmosphere, climate, and geology and the composition of its rocks and soil. It was the second project from NASA’s Discovery Program, which promotes the use of low-cost spacecraft and frequent launches under the motto “cheaper, faster and better” promoted by then-administrator Daniel Goldin. The mission was directed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology, responsible for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The project manager was JPL’s Tony Spear.