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Mars Polar Lander Mission Status

December 8, 1999
4:00 PM PST

Commands were sent in the blind this afternoon to the Mars Polar Lander, in an attempt to establish communications with the spacecraft. The commands were intended to be received through the low-gain antenna on the lander, and instructed the spacecraft to perform "big sweep" of the sky with its medium-gain antenna and send a signal to Earth. The Deep Space Network was waiting to hear a signal from the spacecraft if the lander was executing the "big sweep" commands. After about one hour of listening, no signal was detected from the lander. Early tomorrow morning, the same "big sweep" test will be performed again.

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