Mars Climate Orbiter

Mars Climate Orbiter

Courtesy of NASA

http://nasascience.nasa.gov/missions/mars-climate-orbiter



Overview
Mars Climate Orbiter was a failed mission caused by human error. Some scientists were working with the English system of measurements and others were working in the metric system. This caused a calculation error and put the orbiter in the wrong position to achieve orbit with Mars.


Launch
December 11, 1998


Arrival
September 23, 1999


End of Mission
September 25, 1999


Goals
Collect climate data and act as a communication relay for the Mars Polar Lander that would be launched in January 1999.


Findings
Failed mission. The orbiter did not achieve Mars orbit and contact was lost on September 23, 1999. Because the spacecraft entered the atmosphere at a low altitude, it disintegrated.