The primary objective of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Magnetic Field Investigation, which began in 1997, is to establish definitively the nature of the magnetic field of Mars. Sixteen prior missions to the planet by the United States and the former Soviet Union were not able to answer the fundamental question: Is there a magnetic field of internal origin at Mars as there is on Earth?

Following the arrival of MGS at Mars in September 1997, vector magnetic field observations were acquired from more than 1000 elliptical orbits with the point of closest approach to the planet ranging from 85...

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