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Spacecraft Information

Mars Observer

diagram of Mars Observer components

Classification: Orbiter spacecraft.

Mission: Mars mapping.

Features: The Mars Observer spacecraft was launched in 1992 aboard a Titan III with a Transfer Orbit Upper Stage. Unfortunately, communications with the spacecraft were lost just before its orbit insertion maneuver in September, 1993. Based upon the design for an Earth-orbiting spacecraft, it was to observe Mars for one continuous Martian year (687 Earth days), studying surface mineralogy and morphology, topography, atmospheric circulation and the movement of water, dust, fog and frost. It would have characterized the gravitational field and the magnetic field. It also would have provided Earth relay capability for Russian landers and the Mars Balloon.

Stabilization: Three-axis stabilized via reaction wheels and thrusters.