Exclusive — NASA May Lose Much of Polar Lander’s Science

The science goals of the Mars Polar Lander could be severely compromised if another satellite link is not established to replace the lost Mars Climate Orbiter, project scientists say. The best-case scenario is that the Mars Global Surveyor will be able to perform the services originally assigned to the Climate Orbiter, but the surveyor is already busy with its own task of mapping the planet. It is not clear how the Global Surveyor’s current mission would be affected by a role change, or whether such a change is feasible.