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Mars Polar Lander Spacecraft

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NEWS
December 6, 1999 | KENNETH R. WEISS, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
It's a scene that plays over and over in his mind: On the final leg of a mission to Mars, the spacecraft disappears with his experiments on board. It's no fantasy. In fact, three times UCLA planetary scientist David Paige has lost years of work and millions of dollars in equipment on three separate missions to Mars over the last decade. Throughout the weekend, the question lingered: Is he about to relive his worst nightmare?
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SCIENCE
May 7, 2005 | From Associated Press
Nearly six years after NASA's Mars Polar Lander vanished during a landing attempt on the Red Planet, a scientist said he had spotted what appeared to be wreckage of the spacecraft. The observation came during a reexamination of grainy black-and-white images taken by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor, which searched for the probe with no success in 1999 and 2000.
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NEWS
December 6, 1999 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Despite its most ingenious efforts, NASA once again failed to rouse the Mars Polar Lander Sunday, making it more likely that an entire flotilla of U.S. Mars explorers--a $356.8-million project involving two major spacecraft and two auxiliary probes--has been lost at the Red Planet this fall.
SCIENCE
May 30, 2003 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
The first of two rovers headed to Mars will be launched no earlier than June 8, NASA officials said, marking the second liftoff delay for the project. Jim Erickson, mission manager of the $800-million Mars Exploration Rover project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said Thursday that the spacecraft appeared to be in good shape for launch.
NEWS
December 7, 1999 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists controlling the Mars Polar Lander failed early this morning in what was considered the last, best hope for contacting the spacecraft. Beginning at 12:20 a.m. today, flight controllers tried to establish contact with the lander's UHF antenna using a signal relayed through the orbiting Mars Global Explorer. Previous attempts have focused on direct communication using the lander's medium-gain antenna, and controllers hoped the new approach would be successful.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2000 | USHA LEE McFARLING, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Astronomers who spent the weekend sifting through radio transmissions from space say they have detected no signals from the missing Mars Polar Lander. But project leaders said Monday that they are still trying to contact the craft and have turned to astronomers worldwide for help. Scientists say that if the lander is still operational, they would not expect a signal back before Friday, and a clear indication might not come for several more days. The $165-million craft was lost Dec.
NEWS
February 17, 2000 | USHA LEE McFARLING, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The Mars Polar Lander is officially lost--again. Hopes were raised late last month that the probe had signaled Earth--and a worldwide flurry of activity began to listen for and decode radio transmissions from space--but NASA officials have once again given up their search for the errant spacecraft. Stanford telescope operators thought they had detected a faint signal that could have come from the lander in January.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1999 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ
The fervent hopes of scientists--including these planetary experts at UCLA--for a successful landing at the south pole of Mars were dashed when the $165-million Mars Polar Lander vanished without a trace Dec. 3 as it began its descent to the surface of the Red Planet. It was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's second failed Mars mission of the year. In September, JPL's $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter disappeared as it began to orbit the fourth planet.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2005 | From Associated Press
Nearly six years after NASA's Mars Polar Lander vanished during a landing attempt on the Red Planet, a scientist said he had spotted what appeared to be wreckage of the spacecraft. The observation came during a reexamination of grainy black-and-white images taken by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor, which searched for the probe with no success in 1999 and 2000.
NEWS
February 19, 2000 | From Associated Press
Engines controlling the final descent of NASA's Mars Polar Lander might have shut off prematurely, sending the $165-million probe crashing to the surface, according to a new theory that is being investigated. Engineers have found a design flaw that could have caused the spacecraft's engines to switch off while the probe was still more than 100 feet above the surface. A fall from that altitude would have destroyed the spindly probe.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2003 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
NASA officials have delayed the launch of the first of two Mars landers by at least one week because of a problem detected in the cabling of both spacecraft. The launch was scheduled for May 30 and has now been pushed to June 6, said Pete Theisinger, the project's manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Tests on the Mars exploration rovers conducted at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
NEWS
February 19, 2000 | From Associated Press
Engines controlling the final descent of NASA's Mars Polar Lander might have shut off prematurely, sending the $165-million probe crashing to the surface, according to a new theory that is being investigated. Engineers have found a design flaw that could have caused the spacecraft's engines to switch off while the probe was still more than 100 feet above the surface. A fall from that altitude would have destroyed the spindly probe.
NEWS
February 17, 2000 | USHA LEE McFARLING, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The Mars Polar Lander is officially lost--again. Hopes were raised late last month that the probe had signaled Earth--and a worldwide flurry of activity began to listen for and decode radio transmissions from space--but NASA officials have once again given up their search for the errant spacecraft. Stanford telescope operators thought they had detected a faint signal that could have come from the lander in January.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2000 | USHA LEE McFARLING, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Astronomers who spent the weekend sifting through radio transmissions from space say they have detected no signals from the missing Mars Polar Lander. But project leaders said Monday that they are still trying to contact the craft and have turned to astronomers worldwide for help. Scientists say that if the lander is still operational, they would not expect a signal back before Friday, and a clear indication might not come for several more days. The $165-million craft was lost Dec.
NEWS
January 26, 2000 | From Times wire services
Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission managers Tuesday sent another set of commands to Mars to investigate the possibility that a signal detected by a radio dish at Stanford University came from the Mars Polar Lander. The commands, at 10 a.m., will instruct the lander, if it is operating, to send a signal directly to the antenna at Stanford today about 1 p.m. The Stanford receiving station will listen during the window today to see if it picks up a signal that could originate from Mars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1999 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ
The fervent hopes of scientists--including these planetary experts at UCLA--for a successful landing at the south pole of Mars were dashed when the $165-million Mars Polar Lander vanished without a trace Dec. 3 as it began its descent to the surface of the Red Planet. It was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's second failed Mars mission of the year. In September, JPL's $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter disappeared as it began to orbit the fourth planet.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2003 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
NASA officials have delayed the launch of the first of two Mars landers by at least one week because of a problem detected in the cabling of both spacecraft. The launch was scheduled for May 30 and has now been pushed to June 6, said Pete Theisinger, the project's manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Tests on the Mars exploration rovers conducted at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
NEWS
December 12, 1999 | MIKE DOWNEY
Friday, Dec. 3, 1999-- Science officer's log, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 12:15 p.m., Earth time. First chance for NASA engineers to receive contact from Mars Polar Lander, scheduled to touch down today at Martian south pole. All systems go. JPL to MPL: Come in, please, Polar Lander. Awaiting your signal. MPL: (No response.) JPL to MPL: Rise and shine, MPL. Confirm landing, please. MPL: (No response.) JPL: Phone home, MPL. Operators standing by. MPL: (No response.
NEWS
December 12, 1999 | MIKE DOWNEY
Friday, Dec. 3, 1999-- Science officer's log, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 12:15 p.m., Earth time. First chance for NASA engineers to receive contact from Mars Polar Lander, scheduled to touch down today at Martian south pole. All systems go. JPL to MPL: Come in, please, Polar Lander. Awaiting your signal. MPL: (No response.) JPL to MPL: Rise and shine, MPL. Confirm landing, please. MPL: (No response.) JPL: Phone home, MPL. Operators standing by. MPL: (No response.
NEWS
December 7, 1999 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists controlling the Mars Polar Lander failed early this morning in what was considered the last, best hope for contacting the spacecraft. Beginning at 12:20 a.m. today, flight controllers tried to establish contact with the lander's UHF antenna using a signal relayed through the orbiting Mars Global Explorer. Previous attempts have focused on direct communication using the lander's medium-gain antenna, and controllers hoped the new approach would be successful.
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