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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
The Mars Observer spacecraft in the clean room.
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NASA/JPL

Mars Observer

Mars Observer, also called MO for short, was sent to observe the weather, the magnetic field, and the surface of Mars. It carried 8 different instruments.

But, MO failed on August 21, 1993. There was a fuel leak that caused the spacecraft to blow up!

NASA used what it had learned to create the successful Mars Global Surveyor mission. That just goes to show that you too can learn from your mistakes!

Last modified May 10, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA