Mars Climate Orbiter

Mars Climate Orbiter

Courtesy of NASA

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.

December 11, 1998

September 23, 1999

End of Mission
September 25, 1999

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

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.