MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Mary Hardin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2000

NASA CONCLUDES ALL ATTEMPTS TO COMMUNICATE WITH LANDER

       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 today 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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