This is an image of the Mars '98 spacecraft being prepared for launch.
Click on image for full size
An Overview of the Mars '98 mission
The Mars '98 mission was designed to be a study of Martian climate, weather, and surface properties at the Martian south pole. Mars '98 was supposed to build upon the discoveries of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions by digging into the Martian surface in search of water. The south pole of Mars is an important region because of the unusual terrain found there and the possiblility of that region affecting the overall weather and climate of Mars.
Mars '98 consisted of two spacecraft. One was a lander, dubbed the Martian Polar Lander, which was going to land on the surface of Mars and dig into the soil with a robot arm. The other was an orbiter named the Martian Climage Orbiter, which would have remained in orbit around Mars.
Unfortunately, both spacecraft were lost during the mission. A math error resulted in the orbiter to burning up in Mars' atmosphere. Also, contact with the lander was lost on December 3, 1999. The spacecraft has not been heard from again and no reason for the loss of signal is known.
You might also be interested in:
The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) mission was sent to investigate the geology of Mars. Its principal objective was to analyze the rocks and soil of Mars. The MPF consisted of 2 components, a lander and a mobile...more
The Martian South Pole was first imaged by Mariner 7. The south polar region is part of the highlands of Mars, consisting of old, cratered terrain, and other interesting geologic features. The Mariner...more
Just when everyone had given up hope, a faint signal was received at Stanford University. Scientists say it most likely came from Mars, although they won't know for sure until later this week. The signals...more
A panel made up of aerospace experts studied NASA's recent ventures into space, including the Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander. The results of the study aren't very friendly to the NASA organization....more
Unlike the Earth, where clouds are found around the entire globe, on Mars, clouds seem to be plentiful only in the middle latitudes, as shown in this Hubble telescope image. This may be because water of...more
Born as a result of the failure of Mars Observer (MO), the Mars Surveyor Program was designed to explore Mars with all the original measurements planned for MO, and a lot more. It varied from the MO mission...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. After a six-month, 285 million-mile journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001 (02:30 Universal...more