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Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Mars Pathfinder Sojourner Lands on Mars 1997
The little probe that could, Mars Pathfinder Sojourner, landed on the Red Planet July 4, 1997. Originally expected to operate for one week to at most one month, Sojourner surpassed all expectations and lasted three months, before contact was lost.
The rover was launched December 4, 1996, taking seven months to reach Mars. It showed NASA's commitment to lower cost missions, for example, using air bags to land instead of thrusters.