1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Deep Space 2 Mission Information


Deep Space 2 Mission

Deep Space 2 Mission


Key Dates:

  • 01.03.99: Launch (20:21:10 UT)
  • 12.03.99: Contact Lost (20:00 UT)
  • Status: Crashed on Mars

Scientific Instruments:

  1. MVACS Mars volatile and climate surveyor instrument package
    • SSI stereo surface imager
    • RA robotic arm
    • MET meteorology package
    • TEGA thermal and evolved gas analyzer
    • RAC robotic arm camera
  2. MARDI Mars descent imager
  3. LIDAR light detection and ranging instrument

Fast Facts:

The Deep Space 2 microprobes weighed only 6.5 kg (14.3 pounds).

They were named Amundsen and Scott (right) in honor of the first explorers to reach Earth's South Pole in 1911.

The probes were designed to survive and impact of up to 644 kp/h (400 mph).

Deep Space 2 Mission Information:

The Deep Space 2 (DS2) project was a New Millenium mission consisting of two probes which were to penetrate the surface of Mars near the south polar layered terrain and send back data on the sub-surface properties. On 3 December 1999 the probes were nearing Mars on a trajectory to enter the atmosphere and bring them to their intended landing site, but contact was never made with either probe and the mission was presumed lost. Also named the Mars Microprobe Project, the probe mission had as scientific objectives to: 1) test for the presence of water ice below the surface, and if ice exists, attempt to resolve the mineral phases in which the ice is stored; 2) determine the thermal and physical properties and temperature gradient of the subsurface material; 3) measure the atmospheric pressure and temperature. Data was also to be obtained on the atmospheric density profile and near-surface soil stratification using deceleration measurements during atmospheric entry and landing. The mission was also planned to serve as a technology test for many of the components of the probes and a demonstration of passive atmospheric entry and survivable hard impact. The individual probes were named Amundsen and Scott in honor of the famous polar explorers.

The deep Space 2 probes were lost with the Mars Polar Lander.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.