Canada’s first space mission to another planet — a science instrument riding on a Japanese probe heading to Mars — is likely doomed as the Nozomi spacecraft is escaping control and may miss Mars completely. Nozomi has been flying for five years and has already missed Mars once. It carries a Canadian-built instrument that would measure the gases in Mars’ thin atmosphere. Nozomi is designed to orbit Mars. But Japan acknowledges it can barely control Nozomi, and the spacecraft may crash on Mars within a few weeks, or miss the planet and drift aimlessly around the sun forever.
November 25th, 2003