Mars Polar Lander Mars Polar Lander

Artist rendition of Mars Polar Lander courtesy of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and UCLA

Lastest Search October 2005, Update: Mars Polar Lander Still NOT Found!

Scientists have revisited the site thought to be the crash site of the polar lander. View the Sky & Telescope article.

Preliminary Search May 2005, Update: Mars Polar Lander Found at Last?

Scientists think they may have finally located the lander's wreckage and confirmed what went wrong with the mission. View the Sky & Telescope article.

December 1999

Mars Polar Lander was launched on Jan. 3, 1999 and will land at the Martian South Pole on Dec. 3, 1999. The Lander will carry the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) instrument suite, which will perform in situ investigations to address the science theme "Volatiles and Climate History" on Mars. The Lander will also provide descent imaging with the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), and accommodate a Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) instrument supplied by the Russian Space Agency. The Lander will search for near-surface ice and possible surficial records of cyclic climate change, and characterize physical processes key to the seasonal cycles of water, carbon dioxide and of dust on Mars. The duration of the landed science phase is expected to last no more than approximately 90 days.

The Yes I Can! Science Database contains a variety of resources to support classroom study of this scientific endeavour. Teachers of grades 4 to 12 will find resources and classroom activities for use in the study of:

Grade and Subject
Resources
Grade 4
  • Rocks, Minerals, Erosion
  • Habitats and Communities
Grade 5
  • Weather
Grade 6
  • Space
Grade 7
  • The Earth's Crust
Grade 8
  • Water Systems
Grade 9
  • Space Exploration
Grade 10
  • Weather Dynamics
Grades 11/12
  • Earth Systems
  • Historical Geology
Database powered by GTA's Curriculum DataEngine(tm)

Check the database often as new resources will be added during the course of the mission.

Updates

May 5, 2005 Mars Polar Lander Found at Last? Scientists think they may have finally located the lander's wreckage and confirmed what went wrong with the mission. Click here for full report.
Jan. 17, 2000 The Mars Polar Lander flight team has ended all attempts to regain communications with the spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Jan. 14, 2000 The Mars Polar Lander flight team continued efforts to regain communications with the lander spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Jan. 13, 2000 The Mars Program Independent Assessment Team has concluded a two and a half day meeting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Click here for full report.
Jan. 7, 2000 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. The Mars Polar Lander flight team continued efforts to contact the spacecraft this week. Click here for full report.
Jan. 7, 2000 Mars program independent assessment team begins work. Click here for full report.
Jan. 5, 2000 The initial Mars Polar Lander (MPL) landing site imaging campaign has been completed, with 19 targeted scans across the predicted 1-sigma MPL landing ellipse having been executed. Click here for full report.
Dec. 22, 1999 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. Flight controllers for Mars Polar Lander are continuing to work through their fault-tree scenarios in their ongoing attempts to communicate with the spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Dec. 21, 1999 The search begins. Begining Thursday, December 16, 1999, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft initiated a search for visible evidence of the fate of the missing Mars Polar Lander using the high resolution Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) operated by Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego, California. Click here for full report.
Dec. 15, 1999 Flight controllers for Mars Polar Lander have continued their attempts to communicate with the spacecraft so that they can be certain they have exhausted all possibilities before they conclude their search. Click here for full report.
Dec. 10, 1999 Flight controllers for Mars Polar Lander continued their attempts to communicate with the spacecraft yesterday and today so that they can be certain they have exhausted all possibilities before they conclude their search. Click here for full report.
Dec. 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. Click here for full report.
Dec. 7, 1999, 1:45 a.m. PST Mission controllers for NASA's Mars Polar Lander acknowledge that they hold out very little hope of communicating with the spacecraft, but they vow to learn from the experience and continue exploring the Red Planet. Click here for full report.
Dec. 5, 1999 Mission controllers for NASA's Mars Polar Lander have revised their strategy as they continue trying to make contact with the spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Dec. 5, 1999 Another telecommunications strategy to hear from NASA's Mars Polar Lander produced no results today, but the mission flight team is proceeding through its contingency checklist in continuing attempts to communicate with the spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Dec. 4, 1999 11:15 p.m. PST Mission controllers for NASA's Mars Polar Lander are proceeding with their checklist in a continuing attempt to communicate with the spacecraft. Click here for full report.
Dec. 4, 1999, 5:45 PST NASA's flight controllers have yet to receive a signal from the Mars Polar Lander or the Deep Space 2 probes. Click here for full report.
Dec. 1, 1999 On Friday, Polar Lander descent camera will capture Martian surface as never seen before: from only a few feet up. Click here for full report.
BERKELEY, NOVEMBER 30 NASA moves into era of talking pictures, thanks to microphone built at UC Berkley and mounted on Mars Polar Lander. Click here for full report. Click here for full report.
Nov. 30, 1999 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., report that the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft is in excellent health as it prepares for its arrival at the red planet on Friday. Click here for full report.
Nov. 22, 1999 Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image, Layers of the South Polar Layered Deposits. Click here for full report.
Nov. 19, 1999 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. NASA's Mars Polar Lander team has spent this week testing and training for the entry, descent and landing operations of the mission. Click here for full report.
Nov. 15, 1999 Mars penetrator probes named for pioneering polar explorers. Click here for full report.
Nov. 10, 1999 Mars Climate Orbiter Failure Board Releases Report, Numerous Nasa Actions Underway In Response. Click here for full report.
Nov. 8, 1999 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. Engineers say they are close to resolving a potential problem on NASA's Mars Polar Lander. Click here for full report.
Nov. 2, 1999 Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer Results Of The Mars Polar Lander Landing Site. Click here for full report.
Oct. 30, 1999 Mars Polar Lander Mission Status. NASA's Mars Polar Lander spacecraft successfully fired its thrusters for 12 seconds this morning. Click here for full report. 


Visit Mars Polar Lander Official Web Site, http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/ for real-time data during the mission.

Visit the YES I Can! Science database for curriculum-linked classroom activities to use with students while following the mission.


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