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First U.S. Mars Rover
The U.S Mars Pathfinder mission, designed to pioneer a whole new approach to planetary exploration, is en route to Mars at 25,550 mph. on a flight to land a base station and rover on an ancient Martian flood plain.
The flight, launched here Dec. 4 on a McDonnell Douglas Delta 2 booster, is the first U.S. mission set to land on Mars since two Viking spacecraft reached the surface in 1976--and the first U.S. mission to carry a rover to the planet.