Deep Space 2

Deep Space 2

DS2 probe with heatshield and mounting
Mission type Lander / impactor
Operator NASA / JPL
Mission duration 334
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch mass 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) each
Power 300mW Li-SOCl2 batteries
Start of mission
Launch date 20:21:10, January 3, 1999 (1999-01-03T20:21:10)
Rocket Delta II 7425
Launch site Cape Canaveral AFS SLC-17
End of mission
Disposal failure in transit
Last contact 20:00, December 3, 1999 (1999-12-03T20:00)[1]
Mars impactor
Spacecraft component Amundsen and Scott
Impact date ~20:15 UTC ERT, December 3, 1999
Impact site 73°S 210°W / 73°S 210°W / -73; -210 (Deep Space 2) (projected)
Band S-band
Bandwidth 8 kbit/s

Mars Surveyor 98 mission logo

Deep Space 2 was a NASA probe part of the New Millennium Program. It included two highly advanced miniature space probes that were sent to Mars aboard the Mars Polar Lander in January 1999.[2] The probes were named "Scott" and "Amundsen", in honor of Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen, the first explorers to reach the Earth's South Pole. Intended to be the first spacecraft to penetrate below the surface of another planet, after entering the Mars atmosphere DS2 was to detach from the Mars Polar Lander mother ship and plummet to the surface using only an aeroshell impactor, with no parachute. The mission was declared a failure on March 13, 2000, after all attempts to reestablish communications following the descent went unanswered.[3]


Each probe weighed 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) and was encased in a protective aeroshell. They rode to Mars aboard another spacecraft, the Mars Polar Lander. Upon arrival near the south polar region of Mars on December 3, 1999,[2] the basketball-sized shells were released from the main spacecraft, plummeting through the atmosphere and hitting the planet's surface at over 179 m/s (590 ft/s). On impact, each shell was designed to shatter, and its grapefruit-sized probe was to punch through the soil and separate into two parts. The lower part, called the forebody, was designed to penetrate as far as 0.6 meters (2 ft 0 in) into the soil. The upper part of the probe, or aftbody, was designed to remain on the surface in order to radio data to the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in orbit around Mars. The Mars Global Surveyor would act as a relay in order to send the data collected back to Earth. The two sections of the probe were designed to remain connected via a data cable.[3]

Mission failure

The probes reached Mars apparently without incident, but communication was never established after landing. It is not known what the cause of failure was. The crash review board[4] suggests several possible causes for failure:


Deep Space 2 penetrator 
DS2 functional animation 
DS2 probe components 

See also


  1. Phil Davis; Kirk Munsell (23 January 2009). "Missions to Mars: Mars Polar Lander - Key Dates". Solar System Exploration. NASA. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
  2. 1 2 Davis, Phil; Munsell, Kirk (January 23, 2009). "Missions to Mars: Deep Space 2 - Key Dates". Solar System Exploration. NASA. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  3. 1 2 "Deep Space 2 (DEEPSP2)". NSSDC Master Catalog. NASA - National Space Science Data Center. 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  4. "Report on the Loss of the Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2 Missions" (PDF). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 22 March 2000.
  5. Young, Thomas (March 14, 2000). "Mars Program Independent Assessment Team Summary Report". Draft #7 3/13/00. House Science and Technology Committee. Retrieved April 22, 2009.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Deep Space 2.
Acidalia Planitia Acidalia Planitia Alba Mons Amazonis Planitia Aonia Terra Arabia Terra Arcadia Planitia Arcadia Planitia Argyre Planitia Elysium Mons Elysium Planitia Hellas Planitia Hesperia Planum Isidis Planitia Lucas Planum Lyot Crater Noachis Terra Olympus Mons Promethei Terra Rudaux Crater Solis Planum Tempe Terra Terra Cimmeria Terra Sabaea Terra Sirenum Tharsis Montes Utopia Planitia Valles Marineris Vastitas Borealis Vastitas BorealisMap of Mars
Interactive imagemap of the global topography of Mars, overlain with locations of Mars landers and rovers (Red label = Rover; Blue label = Lander; bold red/blue = currently active). Hover your mouse to see the names of over 25 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Reds and pinks are higher elevation (+3 km to +8 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevation (down to −8 km). Whites (>+12 km) and browns (>+8 km) are the highest elevations. Axes are latitude and longitude; Poles are not shown.
(also see Memorials & Mars Memorials map) (view • discuss)
Beagle 2 (2003)
Curiosity (2012) →
Deep Space 2 (1999)
Mars 2 (1971)
Mars 3 (1971)
Mars 6 (1973)
Polar Lander (1999)
Opportunity (2004)
Phoenix (2008)
Schiaparelli EDM (2016)
Sojourner (1997)
Spirit (2004)
Viking 1 (1976)
Viking 2 (1976)
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