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Nov. 9, 1999

Kathleen Burton

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-1731 or 650/604-9000)

kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov


NOTE TO EDITORS: 99-68AR

MARS CLIMATE ORBITER INVESTIGATION BOARD TO RELEASE REPORT

News media are invited to participate in a briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 10, by the NASA failure review board investigating the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter. The news briefing will emanate from NASA Headquarters and be broadcast at 11 a.m. PST in Building 240, Room 202, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Reporters will be able to direct follow-up questions to the briefing panel located in Washington, DC. Briefers will include:

* Dr. Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator for Space

Science, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC;

* Arthur Stephenson, Chairman of the Mars Climate Orbiter Mission

Failure Investigation Board and Director of NASA's Marshall Space

Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; and

* Dr. Edward Stone, Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

Pasadena, CA.

The news briefing will be carried live on NASA Television, available on transponder 9C, satellite GE-2 at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency 3880 MHz, audio of 6.8 MHz.

Copies of the Board's report will be available at the briefing and can be accessed from the NASA Home Page (at http://www.nasa.gov/). The report discusses the root cause of the mission failure and makes recommendations to help ensure a successful landing of the Mars Polar Lander on December 3. A second report by the Board, due by Feb. 1, 2000, will address lessons learned and make recommendations to improve NASA processes designed to eliminate similar incidents in the future.

Mars Climate Orbiter was lost as it was entering orbit around Mars on Sept. 23, 1999. The orbiter was part of a series of missions in a long-term program of Mars exploration managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science.

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