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SCI/TECH: Lost Mars Polar Lander found?

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posted on May, 6 2005 @ 03:18 PM
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In 1999 the Mars Polar lander was supposed to touch down on Martian soil near the southern pole. Tragically, shortly after it entered the atmosphere it mysteriously disappeared. Now, Five and a half years later scientists believe they have found the lander and may have an explanation for what went wrong.
 



skyandtelescope.com
Using information gained from observing the two Mars Exploration Rover landers last year, Malin reexamined the 1999 and 2000 images looking for similar features. This time he identified what looks to be a parachute located several hundred meters away from a disturbed bit of ground with a large mark in its center. The parachute-like feature closely matches the Mars Exploration Rover parachutes (which were made of the same materials), and Malin believes the disturbed ground matches what one would see if a rocket had blasted the surface from a height of tens of meters.

"It seems that the MPL investigation board may have been correct," writes Malin in Sky & Telescope. "MPL’s descent proceeded more or less successfully through atmospheric entry and parachute jettison. It was only a few short moments before touchdown that disaster struck."

Later this year NASA will direct Mars Global Surveyor to reexamine the MPL crash site using a special technique to improve the camera's resolution to 0.5 meter per pixel. Malin hopes the new observations will provide the conclusive evidence needed to officially close the case of the missing Mars Polar Lander.

The search for Mars Polar Lander was hampered by inexperience: the team didn’t know what a parachute should look like or how the ground would be disturbed by the landing rockets. Lessons learned from observations of the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites helped team members identify what they think are the parachute (2), the rocket-blast zone, and ultimately the lander itself (3). Courtesy NASA/JPL/MSSS.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


While there is still no hope of the Mars Polar Lander completing its mission, it is good that they appear to have found it and will gain a better understanding of what went wrong. More landers will be sent to Mars in the coming years and every bit of data we can gain will increase our chances of having a successful manned mission.

Whether or not we find life on Mars remains to be seen, but I am confident that life will visit Mars in the not to distant future.

Related News Links:
www.marsnews.com
news.nationalgeographic.com
space.skyrocket.de
news.bbc.co.uk

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Europe’s ExoMars Rover: Steering A Course Toward Humans On Mars
SCI/TECH: Mars Rover Mission Extended
New Mars craft to be launched this summer

[edit on 6-5-2005 by Terapin]

[edit on 6-5-2005 by Terapin]

[edit on 6-5-2005 by Terapin]

[edit on 6-5-2005 by Terapin]




posted on May, 6 2005 @ 03:22 PM
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we never sent a probe to mars ! its all propaganda ! nasa is lying !

jk, nice find......



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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Actually they did send a probe, but it was destroyed by the Martians who live in the planet's hollow center, the entrances to which are at the poles.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 09:09 PM
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THis should put to rest all the speculation of our lost probes getting beamed aboard alien motherships. Good find Terapin, even better find NASA!



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 10:23 PM
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Ahh, good, I was hoping someone would report this story.


Very glad we found it, even better we did away with that "meters-feet" theory. THAT was a funny one. It was only a week or so ago I was discussing that very same prove. That's irony for ya.



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