nasa loses contact with mars orbiter
Senior author of cnn interaction by Robin Lloyd (CNN)--
On Thursday, an engine ignited to push NASA\'s next Mars mission into orbit around the red planet, but engineers failed to receive digital signals that went well and have since gone with the universeAfter 286.
During the daytime journey, the Mars Climate Orbiter engine ignited at 5: 01 EDT as expected.
After about 25 minutes, a signal is expected when the satellite is cruising from behind the Earth, but the engineer hears nothing.
\"We\'re in a state where we\'re not quite sure what\'s going on,\" said Richard Cook, project manager for NASA\'s Mars Surveyor program, including Climate Orbiter.
\"At this point, we are still very confident that we are in orbit on Mars and we will see the signal of the spacecraft in a few hours.
John mcname, project manager, said: \"The initial data showed some unexpected results.
He said: \"The spacecraft was a little low when it entered the corridor . \"
\"The result of doing so may be very different from the planned track,\" he said . \".
Engineers try to recalculate the position of the spacecraft so that they can reposition the huge radio antenna on Earth to receive signals from the Climate Orbiter.
Project scientist Richard Zurek compares the effort to find a spaceship to \"finding a signal in a needle in a cosmic haystack \".
\"We really don\'t know where the spaceship is before we make a connection, and how deep it goes into the atmosphere,\" he said . \".
Unscheduled, steep entry into the atmosphere could damage the climate Orbiter.
Engine ignition may also cause the spacecraft to spin too fast and the signal cannot reach the Earth.
Also, the spacecraft launcher may be closed in some way.
NASA spokesman David Seder said engineers discussed sending signals to reopen it.
Engineers in the control room of NASA\'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shown at NASA-TV, were grim-
Facing a few minutes without a signal from a Climate Orbiter.
Flight operations manager Sam Thurman alternate between staring at his squad leader, staring at flight plans and pulling his wedding band. At 5:36 a. m.
He looked at his watch and had a face on his face.
A few minutes later, the engineers in the control room stood up and started working on a new plan.
The success and failure of Mars nasa and the Russian/Soviet Mars exploration mission have yielded mixed results over the years, with NASA gaining a lot of data in the 1970 s along with the Viking lander, and get it in 1997 with the Mars Pathfinder\'s new airbag landing, robot rover and spectacular color images
Budget Mars watchers were lost before they arrived on Mars in 1993.
Russia\'s Mars was destroyed in a launch accident in 96, and NASA has high hopes for it.
Thursday morning\'s event is crucial for NASA\'s first direct search for water on Mars and close study of the weather, as the spacecraft enters orbit on the red planet, ready to engage with the two upcoming lander missions.
The engineers avoided the worst. -
No engine ignition
This will allow the Climate Orbiter to travel through Mars into space.
However, if the spacecraft is not repaired, losing contact with it will also be an obstacle to the mission.
However, the permanent loss of contact with a climate Orbiter will not stop the mission of its partner spacecraft ---
Mars Polar Lander-
Zurek says it will land on Mars on December 3.
The communication role of the Climate Orbiter in the Polar Lander mission will last for 90 days.
The polar lander was designed to stick out a robotic arm, dig water ice in Martian soil, and carry out other scientific experiments focusing on Martian weather.
The missions cost a total of $327.
6 million, designed to understand the history of horses and the potential of life in the past and elsewhere in the universe.
Climate Orbiter will also deliver signals for follow-up activities
The Mars lander is scheduled to launch in 2001.
Between communications missions, the Climate Orbiter will study the weather of Mars on its own from a distance.
The orbiter carries a camera that tracks the atmosphere of Mars and an infrared radiator to measure the temperature, pressure and content of the atmosphere ---
Water vapor, dust, carbon dioxide.
In general, the Mars probe will study the weather pattern of Mars for one year, equivalent to two years on Earth.