View Full Version : Contact Lost With Mars Global Surveyor

2006-Nov-10, 10:06 PM
NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has failed to check in with Earth for more than a week, causing concerns at the space agency. The last communication with the spacecraft was on November 2, when managers sent commands to get the spacecraft to adjust its solar arrays to better track the Sun. They received data back that there was a problem with the motor that drives the array, so they used a backup motor. Nothing has been heard from the spacecraft since. Engineers think the spacecraft performed the maneuver, and oriented its entire body towards the Sun, decreasing its ability to communicate back with Earth. The spacecraft was about to celebrate 10 years in space on November 7, 2006.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/11/10/contact-lost-with-mars-global-surveyor/)

2006-Nov-11, 10:04 PM
I figured that sooner of later, one of the older Mars probes might go 'kaput'.

Hope they get it back, but even if it's lost, it was a good ten year survey.

2006-Nov-11, 10:10 PM
:sad: Can we send the Space Shuttle up on a servicing mission?


2006-Nov-12, 01:09 AM
Man, you scared me! For a second I thought you were talking about the MRO!

(Not that this is good)

Bearded One
2006-Nov-12, 05:42 AM
I haven't given up hope yet. Either way though, it was a good run.

2006-Nov-12, 07:06 PM
I've had a look at the MGS site but there is no further news about the orbiter other than that posted on November 7th. As I'm subscribed to numerous newsletters related to space themes I'm very surprised I hadn't read about this during the past week! Fraser's post, which I've only just read, caught me completely by surprise & produced a sudden surge of anxiety in me!

As previous posters have said it's been up there orbiting Mars for 10 years now but I don't think we should be complacent in its "demise"! It is probably good for a few more years yet & I hope that the engineers can get this orbiter to function correctly again.

John Mendenhall
2006-Nov-13, 06:19 PM
Ouch! But a good 10 years.

2006-Nov-14, 10:50 AM
NASA has few options to fix failed Mars probe

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA is running out of options for fixing a failed Mars probe that has been snapping detailed pictures of the red planet for a decade, officials said on Monday.

Mars Global Surveyor is the oldest of five NASA robotic probes checking the planet for signs that Mars once had water, which many scientists believe to be the key to learning if life ever took root there.

Global Surveyor, which has found evidence of ancient channels and gullies that likely were carved by flowing water, stopped working on November 2 after it developed a motor problem while trying to move one of its power-generating solar panels.

After two days of silence, ground control teams received a signal that the spacecraft had put itself into an emergency standby mode. There was no information about what had gone wrong.

Since then, the mission operations team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has run through nearly all its backup plans to try to contact the probe.

This week, engineers are preparing for what may be their last chance to salvage the spacecraft.


I think this is the lastest info of this Mars probe. I hope Friday's look will help engineers on Earth to find a solution to the problems besetting this probe.

2006-Nov-14, 11:17 AM
Could they use the other probes that are there to relay instructions to MGS