You don’t get a Cadillac for the price of a Yugo. NASA is simply trying to make the most of the money it has. The facts as we know them: On Dec. 3, 1999, the Mars Polar Lander began descending to the surface of the red planet. And that was it. The probe was never heard from again. The spacecraft or its debris, if any exists, is lost in space or on the Martian surface, where recovery is not practical.