BULL'S-EYE ON MARS

A WELL-AIMED ROBOT SWINGS NEATLY INTO ORBIT

For the past two months, Mars has been a lonely place. Despite the kudos that the Pathfinder lander and its sturdy rover have received from Earth, the spacecraft have operated largely alone, trying to study all of Mars without moving beyond a small patch of riverbed real estate.

Last week reinforcements showed up when one of Pathfinder's robotic littermates--the Global Surveyor--arrived at the planet and swung into orbit. Though the landers are likely to wink out within months, the Surveyor orbiter will be studying the planet's surface and atmosphere for years to come. When it's done, NASA should have a better...

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