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Mars Climate Orbiter

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Mars Climate Orbiter

Launch: December 11, 1998

Overview

Mars Climate Orbiter was designed to function as an interplanetary weather satellite and a communications relay for Mars Polar Lander. The orbiter carried two science instruments: a copy of an atmospheric sounder on the Mars Observer spacecraft lost in 1993, and a new, lightweight color imager combining wide- and medium-angle cameras.

Mars Climate Orbiter was lost on arrival September 23, 1999. Engineers concluded that the spacecraft entered the planet's atmosphere too low and probably burned up.

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