Mars Observer


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Mars Observer

NASA's high-profile mission to Mars, the first visit since the Viking probes in 1976, that was launched in Sept. 1992 and reached the planet in Aug. 1993. Control was lost just before it was to be slowed by a rocket-firing maneuver to take it into Mars orbit, and communications could not be re-established. The Mars Observer was to have conducted a detailed survey of Mars – mapping the planet at high resolution and studying its climate, topography, and geology – over one Martian year or 687 Earth days. Failure of the mission affected future missions to Mars, especially Russia's Mars 94, which was to have used the Observer as a relay station. Other missions would have used the Observer data to select landing sites, etc. See Mars Global Surveyor.
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