- Press Release
- Mar 23, 2023
Mars Polar Lander Mission Status – 31 Jan 2000
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Mission managers for Mars Polar Lander report that radio
scientists at Stanford University have not detected a signal from
the spacecraft in data they collected last week. Stanford will
continue to analyze the data and it is still possible that more
detailed analysis might reveal a signal.
In the meantime, additional radio telescopes around the
world have offered their assistance in helping to confirm if the
signal picked up by Stanford is from Polar Lander. The project
has accepted offers of help from an array of fourteen 25-meter
(82-foot) antennas at Westerbork in The Netherlands as well as
the 76-meter (about 250-foot) antenna at Jodrell Bank, near
Manchester, England and an array located near Bologna, Italy.
“The international community has shown a real interest in
being involved in our search. We appreciate their efforts and I
think it shows that Mars is something that captivates everyone’s
imagination,” said Richard Cook, project manager for Mars Polar
Lander at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.
New commands will be sent to the lander from NASA’s Deep
Space Network around the clock on Tuesday and Wednesday this
week, Feb. 1 and 2. These commands will essentially tell the
spacecraft, if it is functioning, to reset its clock and send a
signal to Earth. On Friday, Feb. 4, windows will open for the
antennas in The Netherlands, England and Italy to begin
listening. The antenna at Stanford may also listen during these
The one-way light time from Earth to Mars is currently about
16 minutes. Mars is presently about 300 million kilometers (181
million miles) from Earth.
Mars Polar Lander is managed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.
Lockheed Martin Astronautics Inc., Denver, Colo., is the agency’s
industrial partner for development and operation of the
spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of
Technology, Pasadena, Calif.