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Fraser
2003-Oct-16, 07:26 PM
SUMMARY: NASA investigators have come up with four possible reasons why the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) mission failed in August 2002. The mission launched in July 2002, and was supposed to visit at least two comets and study their icy nuclei, but something went wrong that caused the spacecraft to disappear from ground tracking stations. The most probably cause of the failure was a structural failure of the spacecraft while its solid rocket motor was firing, but the investigators are also considering a collision with debris, a catastrophic failure of the rocket motor, and loss of the spacecraft’s control systems.


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