December 18th, 2013

An Updated Mars Exploration Family Portrait The Planetary Society

The Mars Exploration Family Portrait shows every dedicated spacecraft mission to Mars, and now includes India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and NASA’s MAVEN. The dates listed are for launch.

June 1st, 2005

Mars Polar Lander: Clues From the Crash Site

In a game of high-altitude hide and seek, Mars orbiting spacecraft are scouting for telltale signs of a botched lander mission from more than five years ago. Finding the whereabouts of the probe, NASA

May 6th, 2005

MGS Finds Viking Lander 2 and Mars Polar Lander (Maybe) Malin Space Science Systems

One of the more interesting and appealing activities of the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) observational objectives identified in the original 1985 Mars Observer proposal was to image landers on the martian surface. The scientific goal of this objective is to place the landers into their geologic context, which in turn helps the science community to better understand the results from the landers. In addition to this, the MOC team believed that it would be “really neat” to see the landers sitting on the surface. In previous releases, we have shown images of Viking Lander 1, Mars Pathfinder, and the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. To this group of landers we can now add with certainty Viking Lander 2 (VL-2), the location of which has been uncertain by many kilometers for nearly 30 years. We also believe that we have found a candidate for the location of the Mars Polar Lander, which failed without a trace on 3 December 1999.

May 2nd, 2005

Search on Again for Mars Polar Lander

The search is back on for a spacecraft that disappeared during a landing attempt nearly six years ago. And there are hints that the probe might have been found. Mars Polar Lander was headed for a touchdown near the planet

June 23rd, 2001

Goldin waffles on blame for Mars failures Florida Today

Recent remarks to two different audiences have some wondering whether NASA Administrator Dan Goldin is dodging responsibility for two Mars failures without looking like he’s dodging. In a speech earlier this month to a computing summit in Maryland, Goldin blamed the Mars failures on inadequate computer design tools and said his critics tend to “look for the guilty and punish the innocent.” He adopted a different attitude, however, in a recent interview with Florida Today that touched on the 1999 loss of Mars Climate Observer and Mars Polar Lander on separate missions. “As an agency, we are willing to tell the world we made a mistake,” Goldin said. “In the case of the Mars program, I believe that the people pressed too hard and they pressed too hard because I asked them to. Clearly we have to push it a little less aggressively.”

April 1st, 2001

U.S. Poised For Return to Mars Aviation Week & Space Technology

The $297-million Mars Odyssey mission, crucial for NASA’s recovery from back-to-back Mars flight losses, is set for liftoff this week on a “do-or-die” mission to validate reforms in the wake of the failures. The Odyssey orbiter will search for “Martian oases” as targets for future U.S./European landers.

March 26th, 2001

NASA And NIMA Continue Joint Review Of Mars Polar Lander Search Analysis SpaceDaily

NASA and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) today said researchers from the two agencies will continue a joint review of the initial results of NIMA’s search for the missing Mars Polar Lander. This analysis is extremely challenging, and has thus far produced no definitive conclusions.

March 22nd, 2001

Mars Polar Lander: NASA and NIMA at Odds Over Spy Agency Findings

NASA and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) are moving forward on joint studies to search for the lost Mars Polar Lander. The craft has been missing in action since it attempted to soft-land on the Red Planet on Dec. 3, 1999. The craft was believed to have crashed on Mars, busting itself up across the Martian terrain. But NIMA photo specialists have been poring over NASA-supplied photos snapped by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, now in orbit about Mars. As a support agency of the Department of Defense, NIMA has long been associated with interpretation of high-resolution imagery snapped by Earth-circling military spy satellites.

March 21st, 2001

Experts Find Hint of Mars Lander AP

Fifteen months after the Mars Polar Lander vanished, Defense Department imaging experts have spotted what may be a trace of the spacecraft on the surface of the Red Planet, a NASA official said. Experts at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency have spent months poring over high-resolution images of the region where the Polar Lander was to have set down.

March 19th, 2001

Spy Agency May Have Located Mars Polar Lander

The Mars Polar Lander may have been found — intact — by a top-secret spy imagery agency. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has been quietly scanning Mars pictures, looking for the Mars Polar Lander since early December 1999. According to a source close to the NIMA effort, photographic specialists at NIMA think they