NASA says faint signals most likely not from Polar Lander
February 16, 2000
Web posted at: 11:48 p.m. EST (0448 GMT)
PASADENA, California (CNN) -- Scientists waiting for a call from the lost Mars Polar Lander may have heard a wrong number.
Radio signals that offered hope the Polar Lander was phoning home most likely did not come from the spacecraft, NASA said Wednesday.
The $165 million Polar Lander has not been heard from since December 3, the day it was supposed to land on the red planet.
Last month, NASA managers said faint radio signals captured by a huge dish antenna at Stanford University in California could be coming from the Polar Lander.
But NASA issued a statement on Wednesday, saying detailed analysis shows the "suspect signal is more likely of terrestrial origin and not from Mars Polar Lander."
NASA also said analysis of other signals captured by radio telescopes in the Netherlands, Italy and at Stanford "has not yielded any signal from Mars Polar Lander."
"We saw something ... that had all the earmarks of a signal and we felt we had to check it out," project manager Richard Cook said. "Based on the latest results, it is unlikely that we will attempt to listen again."
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