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Solar System Exploration
Mars Climate Orbiter
Mars Climate Orbiter (click to enlarge)

Mars Climate Orbiter
Date: 23 Sep 1999

Mars Climate Orbiter mission was to study Mars from orbit with cameras and atmospheric instruments. It also was designed to serve as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2 probes.

Communications were lost as the spacecraft prepared to enter orbit around Mars. An investigation found the spacecraft burned up in Mars' atmosphere due to a navigation error caused by the failure to translate English units to Metric.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Credit: NASA/JPL

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Last Updated: 20 Jan 2011