Hope Lost, Japan Abandons Mars Probe

Japan abandoned its troubled mission to Mars on Tuesday after space officials failed in their final effort to put the Nozomi probe back on course to orbit the Red Planet. The probe, Japan’s first interplanetary explorer, had been traveling for five years toward Mars and would have reached the planet next week. But officials at JAXA, Japan’s space agency, said Nozomi was off target and that scientists gave up trying to salvage the mission after an attempt to fire the probe’s engines failed because it was short on fuel.