Mars Climate Orbiter

Mars Climate Orbiter Spacecraft Mars Climate Orbiter Spacecraft

An artist's concept of the Mars Climate Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Mission Summary

Designed to study Mars from orbit and serve as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space probes, the Mars Climate Orbiter was unsuccessful due to a navigation error caused by a failure to translate English units to metric.

Last contact with the spacecraft was on September 23, 1999, 9 months after launch, and an investigation found that the spacecraft burned up in Mars' atmosphere.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Mars Color Imager (MARCI)
- Pressure Modulated Infrared Radiometer (PMIRR)


Type: Orbiter
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: December 11, 1998
1:45 p.m. EST (18:45 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Mission End Date: September 23, 1999
 
Target: Mars
 
Destination: Mars
 
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