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The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate. In 1994, the Panel on Small Spacecraft Technology was established to set guidelines for future miniature spacecraft. The panel determined that the new line of miniature spacecraft should be under 1000 kilograms with highly focused instrumentation. In coversion from word to pdf, a new Mars Surveyor program began as a set of missions designed with limited objectives, low costs, and frequent launches.

6 meters wide and 2 meters deep. With the exception of the scientific instruments, battery and main engine, the spacecraft included dual redundancy on the most important systems. The spacecraft included a 1. Deployed, the solar array measured 5. The batteries were intended to be recharged when the solar array received sunlight and power the spacecraft as it passed into the shadow of Mars. The flash memory was intended to be used for highly important data, including triplicate copies of the flight system software.

8 million for mission operations. Map the three-dimensional and time-varying thermal structure of the atmosphere from the surface to 80 km altitude. Map the atmospheric dust loading and its global, vertical and temporal variation. Map the seasonal and spatial variation of the vertical distribution of atmospheric water vapor to an altitude of at least 35 km. Distinguish between atmospheric condensates and map their spatial and temporal variation. Map the seasonal and spatial variability of atmospheric pressure. Monitor the polar radiation balance.

Observe Martian atmospheric processes at global scale and synoptically. Study details of the interaction of the atmosphere with the surface at a variety of scales in both space and time. Examine surface features characteristic of the evolution of the Martian climate over time. Diagram of Mars Climate Orbiter. Mars Climate Orbiter during assembly.

Mars Climate Orbiter undergoing acoustic testing. Mars Climate Orbiter awaiting a spin test in November 1998. Orbiter turns to correct orientation to begin main engine burn. Orbiter fires pyrotechnic devices which open valves to begin pressurizing the fuel and oxidizer tanks. Expected to exit Mars occultation. No further attempts to contact. Mars, and sending the probe into a 669 million kilometer trajectory.

This image of Mars on September 7, 1999 is the only image acquired by the Orbiter. September 23, 1999 at 09:00:46 UTC. Mars at 09:04:52 UTC, 49 seconds earlier than expected, and communication was never reestablished. Due to complications arising from human error, the spacecraft encountered Mars at a lower than anticipated altitude and disintegrated due to atmospheric stresses.

NASA’s systems engineering, and the checks and balances in our processes, to detect the error. That’s why we lost the spacecraft. On November 10, 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board released a Phase I report, detailing the suspected issues encountered with the loss of the spacecraft. Previously, on September 8, 1999, Trajectory Correction Maneuver-4 was computed and then executed on September 15, 1999. 80 kilometers is the minimum altitude that Mars Climate Orbiter was thought to be capable of surviving during this maneuver.