View Full Version : NASA Panel Will Investigate Mars Global Surveyor's Disappearance

2007-Jan-17, 01:50 AM
Although it lasted years longer than anyone ever expected, the disappearance of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft is still a mystery the agency wants to investigate. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/01/16/nasa-panel-will-investigate-mars-global-surveyors-disappearance/)

2007-Jan-19, 02:34 AM
Scuttlebutt on other websites is that a programming error where a couple of bytes were written into the wrong register long before the command to redeploy the antenna led to a fatal state: The satellite went into safemode and the batteries were exposed to too much direct heating from the sun.

It is amazing how long this highly success mission lasted, given the complexity of the task, the age of the techology, and the thin staffing and turnover at NASA.

2007-Jan-19, 03:47 AM
From the BA Blog: Mars news: good and bad (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/01/12/mars-news-good-and-bad/)

Mars Global Surveyor, the workhorse orbiter that has been circling the Red Planet since 1997 and recently failed, may have had bad software uploaded. [...] However, my friend James Oberg, who knows quite a bit about this sort of thing, told me he has his doubts that this is the whole story. We’ll find out more soon. For now, do not accept this version as being correct.