Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Mysterious signals from Earth, not Mars Lander
Posted: Feb. 17, 2000

Artist's concept of Mars Polar Lander near the Martian south pole. Photo: NASA
Radio scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have made a detailed analysis of data taken by a radio telescope at Stanford University on Jan. 4 and believe the suspect signal is more likely of terrestrial origin and not from Mars Polar Lander.

Further analysis of data taken by radio telescopes in the Netherlands, Italy and at Stanford on Feb. 8 has not yielded any signal from Mars Polar Lander.

Extensive analysis of all data taken during the last few weeks is ongoing.

"We saw something in the Jan. 4 data that had all the earmarks of a signal and we felt we had to check it out. In parallel, we started to perform analysis to determine if the signal came from Mars," said Richard Cook, project manager for Mars Polar Lander at JPL. "Based on the latest results, it is unlikely that we will attempt to listen again."

Mars Polar Lander is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin Astronautics Inc., Denver, Colo., is the agency's industrial partner for development and operation of the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

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