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January 10, 2007

Panel Will Study Mars Global Surveyor Events

NASA has formed an internal review board to look more in-depth into why NASA's Mars Global Surveyor went silent in November 2006 and recommend any processes or procedures that could increase safety for other spacecraft.

Mars Global Surveyor launched in 1996 on a mission designed to study Mars from orbit for two years. It accomplished many important discoveries during nine years in orbit. On Nov. 2, the spacecraft transmitted information that one of its arrays was not pivoting as commanded. Loss of signal from the orbiter began on the following orbit.

Mars Global Surveyor has operated longer at Mars than any other spacecraft in history and for more than four times as long as the prime mission originally planned.

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington DC

NEWS RELEASE: 2007-004

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