Mars Climate Orbiter

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Mars Climate Orbiter
Artist's conception of the Mars Climate Orbiter
Mission typeMars orbiter
OperatorNASA / JPL
COSPAR ID1998-073A
SATCAT no.25571Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration286 days
Mission failure
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Launch mass338 kilograms (745 lb)
Power500 watts
Start of mission
Launch date11 December 1998, 18:45:51 (1998-12-11UTC18:45:51Z) UTC
RocketDelta II 7425
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-17A
End of mission
Last contact23 September 1999 09:06:00 (1999-09-23UTC09:07Z) UTC
Decay date23 September 1999
Unintentionally deorbited
Orbital parameters
Reference systemAreocentric

The Mars Climate Orbiter was a space probe. It was launched by NASA on 11 December 1998 to study the Martian climate and Martian atmosphere. However, on 23 September 1999, communication with the spacecraft was lost, when the spacecraft was about to enter orbit. Because the computer software was working with non-SI units instead of the SI units. The spacecraft entered Mars on an orbit that brought it too close to the planet. However, what happened with the probe is still unknown, either it was destroyed in the atmosphere or entered in an orbit around the Sun after leaving the Martian atmosphere. [1][2]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Stephenson, Arthur G.; LaPiana, Lia S.; Mulville, Daniel R.; Rutledge, Peter J.; Bauer, Frank H.; Folta, David; Dukeman, Greg A.; Sackheim, Robert; Norvig, Peter (November 10, 1999). Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board Phase I Report (PDF). NASA.
  2. "Metric mishap caused loss of NASA orbiter". CNN. September 30, 1999. Retrieved March 21, 2016.