Mars Climate Observer
One of the Mars Surveyor 98 missions, launched
on Dec. 11, 1998 and lost on Sep. 23, 1999 due to a navigational error.
Mars Climate Observer was to have used a series of aerobraking maneuvers
to achieve a stable Martian orbit but approached the planet too closely
and is presumed to have disintegrated in the atmosphere. Its primary scientific
instruments were the Pressure Modulated Infrared Radiometer (PMIRR) and
the Mars Color Imaging system (MARCI). PMIRR was to have been used to observe
the global distribution and time variation of temperature, pressure, dust,
water vapor, and condensates in the Martian atmosphere, while MARCI was
to have studied details of the interaction between the atmosphere and the
surface. Although the loss of the probe was serious, the scientific investigations
it was to have carried out have been performed by later missions in NASA's
Mars exploration program.
AND SPACE PROBES