Latest Mars Climate Orbiter Stories

2009-03-04 11:05:22

The U.S. space agency says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is working once again after an unexpected computer reboot last week. National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., sent commands Monday to power up the spacecraft's science instruments. The scientists said Tuesday monitoring confirmed all instruments were working properly. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter unexpectedly rebooted its computer Feb. 23 and put itself into a...

2008-12-15 11:08:17

The U.S. space agency says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its primary, two-year science mission. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists said the spacecraft has returned 73 terabits of data -- more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The orbiter initially moved into position 186 miles above the surface of Mars in October 2006, subsequently conducting approximately 10,000 targeted observation sequences of high-priority areas. NASA scientists said the...

2008-12-11 16:20:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its primary, two-year science phase. The spacecraft has found signs of a complex Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity of past watery environments. The orbiter has returned 73 terabits of science data, more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The spacecraft will build on this record as it continues to examine Mars in unprecedented detail during its next two-year phase of science operations. Among the major findings...

2007-08-10 20:10:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander today accomplished the first and largest of six course corrections planned during the spacecraft's flight from Earth to Mars. Phoenix left Earth Aug. 4, bound for a challenging touchdown on May 25, 2008, at a site farther north than any previous Mars landing. It will robotically dig to underground ice and run laboratory tests assessing whether the site could ever have been hospitable to microbial life. Phoenix today is traveling at about 33,180 meters per second...

2007-07-30 17:35:00

LOS ANGELES -- A three-legged NASA spacecraft with a long arm for digging trenches is going to the Martian north pole to study if the environment is favorable for primitive life. But before it can start its work, the Phoenix Mars Lander must survive landing on the surface of the rocky, dusty Red Planet, which has a reputation of swallowing manmade probes. Of the 15 global attempts to land spacecraft on Mars, only five have made it. "Mars has the tendency to throw you curve balls," said...

2007-04-13 11:40:00

WASHINGTON - After studying Mars four times as long as originally planned, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter appears to have succumbed to battery failure caused by a complex sequence of events involving the onboard computer memory and ground commands. The causes were released today in a preliminary report by an internal review board. The board was formed to look more in-depth into why NASA's Mars Global Surveyor went silent in November 2006 and recommend any processes or procedures that...

2007-01-15 09:00:00

By A.J. Hostetler Don't bother asking for a two-by-four from astronauts building the first lunar base. And don't go racing your moon buggy across the Sea of Tranquility at 65 mph. Still smarting from the metric-English mix-up that caused a Mars orbiter to disappear, NASA's ready to go all-metric on the moon. The move will apply only to surface operations for the lunar base NASA wants to build. That means measurements for the robotic rovers, the nuts and bolts on the habitat modules and the...

2006-10-21 00:00:00

Every day for the past decade, the U.S. has had a presence at Mars, using spacecraft to understand this extreme world and its potential as a past or present habitat for life. During that time, all spacecraft have become virtually incommunicado for about two weeks every two years. The reason is solar conjunction, which occurs again from October 18-29, 2006. Solar conjunction is the period when Earth and Mars, in their eternal march around the Sun, are obscured from each other by the fiery orb...

2006-09-30 10:00:00

Mars is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars is returning low-altitude images to Earth from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Rocks and surface features as small as armchairs are revealed in the first image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since the spacecraft maneuvered into its final, low-altitude orbital path. The imaging of the red planet at this resolution heralds a new era in Mars exploration. The image of a small fraction of Mars' biggest...

2006-08-31 07:33:12

Nearly six months after it entered orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has concluded its aerobraking phase. The spacecraft had been dipping in and out of the Red Planet's atmosphere to adjust its orbit. On August 30, 2006, during its 445th orbit, the spacecraft fired its intermediate thrusters to raise the low point of its orbit and stop dipping into the atmosphere. The six-minute engine burn began at 10:36 a.m. PST, altering the spacecraft's course so that its periapsis (the closest it...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.