Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

NASA concludes all attempts to contact Mars lander
Posted: Jan. 18, 2000

Artist's concept of Mars Polar Lander near Martian south pole. Photo: NASA
The Mars Polar Lander flight team has ended all attempts to regain communications with the spacecraft.

"The final set of planned commands were sent on Jan. 6 to place the spacecraft in UHF safe mode. Since then, we've had a series of relay communications sessions using Mars Global Surveyor to listen for the lander around the clock," said Richard Cook, the project manager for Mars Polar Lander at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "These attempts have ended (Monday) concluding our attempts to recover the spacecraft."

Mars Global Surveyor continues to perform special targeted observations of the Mars Polar Lander landing site in hopes of imaging the lander or its parachute. No evidence of the spacecraft has been sighted so far and these attempts will continue through early February. The team has started in depth analysis of terrain hazards within the landing footprint in support of the JPL Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2 Failure Review Board.

Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2 are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. Lockheed Martin Astronautics Inc., Denver, CO, is the agency's industrial partner for development and operation of the spacecraft. JPL designed and built the Deep Space 2 microprobes. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

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