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NASA火星探测失败案例

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发表于 2017-4-30 18:37:49 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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译者:susanyao
发布:2012-08-31 11:54:07

                                

Mars is a hard place to reach. While there have been many notable success stories in getting probes to the Red Planet, the historical record is full of bad news.
登陆火星并非易事。火星探测历史案例多以失败告终,屡屡败北。
Counting all Soviet/Russian, U.S., European, and Japanese attempts, more than half of Mars missions have failed, either because of some botched rocket launch on Earth or a systems malfunction en route to or at the planet. The success rate for actually landing on the Martian surface is even worse, roughly 30 percent.
悉数苏维埃/俄罗斯,美国,欧洲及日本的火星探测历史,半数以上任务无果而终,有的在地球上,火箭发射时,就搞砸了,有的中途系统故障,还有的在火星着陆后,出现故障,都是无果而终。成功到达火星表面的比率不足30%。
Set to touch down on Aug. 5, NASA’s newest Mars rover, Curiosity, will be the largest man-made object ever placed on another planet, requiring a never-before-attempted landing sequence. With its carefully orchestrated parachutes, rockets, hovering UFO-like platform, and sky crane, the descent has to go off in a pitch perfect order to avoid the rover becoming a fiery crater on the Martian surface.
8月5日,美国宇航局推出了新款火星漫游车,“求知号”,目前最大的人造外星探测设备,即将登临火星,完成前所未有的探测任务。精心设计的降落伞,改进的运载火箭,飞碟形状的悬浮平台及空中起重机,足以保证平稳降落,有效防止了在火星表面坠毁。
With this in mind, NASA officials have been nervous about their $2.5 billion flagship probe’s chances of successfully reaching the ground, alternating between anxious and hopeful tenors when talking about the mission in recent weeks. The agency at least can take comfort in the fact that three out of four landers and every rover built in the good-old U.S. has made it down safely thus far.
近几周,每当美国宇航局被问及这项耗资25亿美元的探测设备能否成功在火星着陆,其回答一会儿担心焦虑,一会儿成竹在胸,闪烁其词,没有定论。唯一一点能令人宽慰的就是迄今为止,美国策划的火星登陆计划及其美国本土设计的火星登陆设备的成功率高达3/4。
Though we sincerely hope that Curiosity doesn’t join them, here we take a look at the challenging history of Mars mission failures and the vast robotic graveyard of probes that didn’t make it.
一方面预祝希望“求知号”项目顺利完成任务,同时,也让我们在此分享一下以往火星探测失败的案例,也正是这些案例让火星有了另外一个别名“人造卫星的墓园”。
Image: The surface and atmosphere of Mars taken by the Viking Orbiter. NASA
图片:美国宇航局“海盗号”拍摄到的火星表面和大气层

Marsnik 1 and 2
Marsnik 1号 及 Marsnik 2号
The earliest planned Mars missions were the Soviet Mars 1M series of spacecrafts, known in the U.S. as Marsnik 1 and 2. Both probes were meant to fly by Mars and return images of its surface as well as study the effects of extended spaceflight on electronics to pave the way for future interplanetary travel.
最早的火星探测器出自苏联,属于火星1M系列宇宙飞船,在美国,Marsnik 1号 及 Marsnik 2号几乎妇孺皆知。这两次探测可以说意义重大,不仅意味着人类要探索火星,还成功拍摄到了了火星地表图片,拓展了电子产品在外太空航空领域内的应用,为未来星际旅行奠定了基础。
Marsnik 1 was launched on Oct. 10, 1960 but failed to get enough thrust to make it out of Earth’s atmosphere. This early attempt, undertaken behind the secrecy of the Soviet space program, has been denied by some scientists involved with the flight. It’s a strange face-saving effort considering that Marsnik 2, launched four days after Marsnik 1, suffered the same failure to achieve Earth orbit as its predecessor.
1960年10月10日,Marsnik 1号首次发射,由于动力不足,未能冲破地球大气层。这些早期尝试,属于苏维埃太空项目中的保密项目,参与其中的科学家拒绝谈及此事。当然,一想到,4天后发射的Marsnik 2号重蹈覆辙,依然未能冲破地球轨道大气层,这种结果也表明了这种做法的确有助于保全面子。
Image: The Marsnik 1 spacecraft. NASA
图片:美国宇航局的Marsnik 1号航天飞行器

Mars 1
火星1号
Two years after their first tries, the Soviets were at it again with a suite of three robot attempts at Mars. On Oct. 24, 1962, they launched Sputnik 22, a Mars flyby mission that exploded in Earth orbit before it was able to fire its rockets to head to the Red Planet. This satellite would be of little historical note if it hadn’t almost triggered World War III. The poorly timed launch occurred during the Cuban missile crisis and, when the U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radar detected debris from the shattered spacecraft, it was momentarily feared to be the start of a Soviet nuclear missile attack.
首次尝试失败,两年后,苏维埃又研制了3个航空设备,想要再次登陆火星。1962年10月24日,“斯普特尼号 22”发射,将执行在火星上低空飞行的任务,到达地球轨道指定位置,准备再次点火,向火星发射时,意外爆炸。这次事件几乎引发第3次世界大战,才令这次事件备受瞩目。一方面,由于发射时间恰巧就是“古巴导弹危机”爆发期间,另一方面,由于国际局势吃紧,“美国弹道导弹防御系统”的雷达探测到该宇航器碎片,并误以为是苏维埃政府的核导弹袭击等原因。。
Seemingly undeterred by their failures, the Soviet space program launched the Mars 1 probe eight days later. This probe was designed to image the Martian surface and send back data on cosmic radiation, micrometeoroid impacts, Mars’ magnetic field, and search for possible life. Despite a leak in one of the gas valves in the orientation system, Mars 1 started out in good working condition, achieving Earth orbit and rocketing off to Mars. But a few months later, the spacecraft ceased communicating, possibly from failure of the orientation system.
屡屡失败的苏维埃航空计划部,8天后又发射了“火星1号”。该探测器将绘制火星地表图,并传输火星上的宇宙辐射强度数据,微流星体冲击情况,及磁场等方面数据,并搜索火星上的生命迹象。虽然定位系统一个气阀些许泄露,但“火星1号”还是完美升空,顺利到达地球轨道,并成功发射到火星。数月之后,该航天器通信故障,失去联系,据推测是由于 定位系统失灵造成。
The last Soviet attempt of this era, Sputnik 24, launched three days after Mars 1. It would have deployed the first lander to reach the surface of Mars. Unfortunately, the probe broke up in Earth orbit shortly after launch and reentered the atmosphere in pieces a few months later.
该时代,苏维埃最后一次发射的飞行器,名为“斯普特尼克24号”,继“火星1号”发射3日后发射。按计划,该飞行器将在前一颗火星探测器的基础上,进一步拓展在火星上的探索领域。发射后不久,到达地球轨道后,不幸爆炸,数月后,碎片坠回大气层。
Image: The Soviet Mars 1. NASA
图片:美国宇航局,苏维埃火星1号

Mariner 3
水手3号
While the Soviets seemingly had a monopoly on Mars spacecraft failures during this time, at least they were trying. NASA wasn’t even in the game yet — the first American attempt at a Mars flyby didn’t come until 1964, with the launch of Mariner 3. And this attempt failed when a protective shield didn’t eject properly. The extra weight prevented the spacecraft from reaching its intended orbit. NASA’s Mariner 4, launched a few weeks later, was the first probe to successfully fly by Mars, finally returning pictures of its surface from close up.
可以说,该时代登陆火星失败的都是苏维埃制造的航天器,同时也说明该国是多么重视该项目。当时,美国尚未涉足该领域,直至1964年,美国才开始研究火星登陆项目,并尝试发射了“水手3号”。保护罩失灵,导致试验以失败告终。且保护罩太沉,限制了飞行器速度,固无法到达指定轨道位置。数周后,美国宇航局发射了“水手4号",首度成功抵达火星,并寄回到达火星表面前拍摄的火星地表图片。
Image: The Mariner 3 spacecraft. NASA
图片:美国宇航局的水手3号飞船

Zond 2
Zond 2号
Days after the launch of the successful Mariner 4, the Soviet space program launched a rival probe, Zond 2. Much like the earlier Mars 1, this probe was intended to carry out scientific exploration of the Red Planet, take pictures of its surface, and brought with it a descent craft to reach the Martian surface. (Soviet probes at this time were all designed basically the same, with engineers learning from the mistakes of previous spacecraft.)
“水手4号”发射成功,数日之后,苏维埃宇航局发射了“Zond 2号”人造探测卫星。和“火星1号”类似,该探测器将执行科学考察任务,拍摄火星地表图片,在降落装置协助下,成功在火星表面登陆。(当时苏联的探测器的设计基本雷同,都是工程师不断失败,不断积累而形成的设计。)
Though its launch went smoothly, Zond 2 reported serious problems from the beginning of its mission. Out in space, one of its solar panels seems not to have deployed, giving the probe only half the expected amount of power. Several months later, the spacecraft’s communication system began sending back irregular updates, eventually succumbing to a critical failure somewhere on the way to Mars.
发射过程十分顺利,但“Zond 2号”在任务开始之时,就存在严重错误。到太空后,一块太阳能电池板无法展开,造成该飞行器仅拥有原计划能量的一半。数月后,通信系统不发送数据,显示更新出错,最终造成致命错误,该飞行器在飞往火星的途中迷路了。
To this day, no one knows exactly what happened to the probe but its believed that Zond 2 went by Mars on August 6, 1965 – just a few weeks after Mariner 4’s successful flyby — and drifted silently off into interplanetary space.
直至今日,无人知晓该飞行器何去何从,可以确信的是,1965年8月6日,的确发射了“Zond 2号”探测器,就是“水手4号”成功抵达火星的数周之后,只是结局不太一样,悄无声息地消失在茫茫宇宙之中。
Image: Zond 2. NASA
图片:美国宇航局Zond 2号

Twin Failures
双子败北
The Soviets rounded out the 1960s with a pair of twin Mars probes that failed spectacularly shortly after launch. Launched in 1969, the Mars 1969A and 1969B probes each carried three television cameras designed to record the Martian surface in detail that surpassed Mariner 4.
19世纪60年代,苏联发射的探测器接二连三失误,最著名的是一对探测器双双在升空后,不幸失事。1969年,发射了火星1969A及1969B两个探测器,每个探测器上都装有3架性能明显胜过“”水手4号“的摄像头,用来详细记录火星表面的情况。
Both rockets experienced terrible launches. The first spacecraft, 1969A, lifted off the launch pad, experienced a malfunction, caught on fire, shut down its engines, exploded, and had its remains crash into the Altai Mountains. The second probe suffered a rocket stage explosion 0.02 seconds after liftoff, which caused the rocket to tip over as it climbed. About half a mile above the surface, all the engines shut down, and the rocket hit the ground and exploded 41 seconds after launch, less than 2 miles from the launch pad.
这两次事故都属于火箭发射事故。前者,“航天飞机1969A”,从发射塔架升空后,发生故障,立即着火,发动机失灵,整体爆炸,碎片纷纷落向阿尔泰山脉。后者在升空后0.02秒,运载火箭部分发生爆炸,整个火箭在上升过程中反转。离地面高度为半英里左右,发动机全都停止,火箭撞向地面,发射41秒就整体坠毁,地点就在发射塔架2英里左右。
Image: Rockets similar to this Proton carried the Mars 1969A and 1969B probes and both suffered failures. NASA
图片:携带着“火星1969A航天探测器”及“1969B航天探测器”的Proton型号运载火箭双双失事。来自美国宇航局

Mariner 8 and Cosmos 419
水手8号及宇宙419号
By the 1970s, Martian flybys were passé and both the U.S. and Soviet space agencies were racing to be the first to orbit a probe around Mars. NASA was first out of the gate with the Mariner 8 probe, which launched May 8, 1971. Unfortunately, the probe’s rocket began to wobble after liftoff, eventually tumbling out of control and returning to Earth.
到了19世纪70年代,火星近飞探测已经过时,美国和苏联纷纷下力气研究环火星运动的人造探测卫星。1971年5月8日,美国航天局推出了“水手8号卫星”。不幸的是,运载火箭升空后,整体开始摇晃,脱离控制,坠向地面。
Two days later, the Soviet Cosmos 419 probe launched. Though its NASA rival crashed, many believe that part of Cosmos’ mission was to overtake the U.S. spacecraft during the voyage to Mars and enter orbit around the planet first. The Soviets may have gotten a quick laugh at their American counterparts. But an erroneous ignition timer in Earth orbit sent the Soviet spacecraft quickly plummeting back to the ground.
2天后,苏联发射了“宇宙419号探测器”。美国宇航局的坠毁事件,并未让那些坚信苏联的“宇宙号”胜过美国探测器的人更谨慎,而是更盲目地坚信,在发射环火星轨道运行卫星这个项目上,苏联一定会先声夺人。看扁对手的苏联高兴得有点早。苏联的运载火箭到达地球轨道规定位置后,点火计时器故障,整个运载火箭垂直坠落。
Image: Mariner 8. NASA
图片:水手8号,美国宇航局

Mars 2 and 3
火星2号和火星3号
Mere weeks after the back-to-back Mariner 8 and Cosmos 419 failures, both the U.S. and Russia were attempting to achieve Martian orbit again. On May 19 and 28, 1971, the Soviets launched the Mars 2 and 3 probes. Two days later, NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft launched.
就在“水手8号”及“宇宙419号”双双失事后,数周内,美国及苏联又一次启动了火星轨道卫星计划。1971年5月19日和28日,苏联分别发射了“火星2号”及“火星3号”。2天后,美国宇航局发射了“水手9号”。
The three probes raced to Mars, each hoping to bring glory to their country’s space program and engineering prowess. While it launched slightly later, the U.S. probe beat the Soviet spacecraft by a mere fortnight and Mariner 9 became the first man-made object to ever orbit another planet. During its mission, Mariner 9 mapped 70 percent of the Martian surface and studied changes in the planet’s atmosphere.
向火星发射了3个火箭,像是赛跑一样,急着为国争光,彰显本国航天科研实力。美国火箭发射时间晚些,两周后,结果还是胜过了苏联的火箭,“水手9号”成为环其它星球轨道的第一颗人造卫星。服役期间,“水手9号”绘制了火星地表70%的地形图,并成功记录了火星上,大气层变化,以待研究。
Though slightly late, Mars 2 and 3 also entered Martian orbit. Each spacecraft imaged the Martian surface and clouds, and studied the planet’s temperature, pressure, and composition. Mars 2, which arrived slightly before its companion, has the distinction of sending the first attempted lander to the surface of Mars.
时间上看,稍稍迟到些的“火星2号”和“火星3号”最终也成功抵达火星轨道指定位置。并拍摄了火星地表及云层的图片,还记录了火星的温度,压力及构成。“火星2号”比同伴早些,就在其试图首次在火星地表着陆之时,不幸坠毁。
This dome-shaped landing robot contained two cameras to provide a 360-degree view of its landing area, and a mechanical scoop to search for organic matter and signs of life. It was meant to slow down using parachutes and rockets and make the first soft landing on Mars. Once on the ground, four triangular petals that opened like a flower were meant to right the probe. Perched atop the dome was a small black rover (left) that “walked” on two skis, and could travel about 50 feet away from its base while remaining connected via a communication cable.

这个圆形的着陆机器人装有2架摄像头,360度全方位视角,还有一个机械臂可以挖掘有机物质样本,搜集生命迹象。这项科技是降落伞和运载火箭渐渐退出历史舞台,首次在火星实现软着陆。一旦着陆,探测器下方的4个三角形的支架向花瓣一样张开,实现探测器水平定位。就在圆顶正上方有一个黑色的“漫步者”机器人,通过两个滑板实现“行走”,通过通讯线连接,可以再距离基地50英尺(15.24米)为半径的范围内移动。
The orbiters were both a success, but their landers did not fare as well. The Mars 2’s descent landing sequence failed, bringing the probe in too fast. The lander exploded when it hit the surface. Mars 3’s lander actually made it to the ground, achieving the first touchdown on another planet and sending back an image from the surface of Mars, a blurry and static-filled shot. Inexplicably, the lander stopped transmitting about 20 seconds after it hit the ground, never resuming transmission. The failure may have been related to an extremely powerful and unfortunate Martian dust storm taking place at the time, which could have damaged its communications system.
轨道卫星双双成功,但是“登陆者”却没有那么幸运。“火星2号”下降着陆失败,导致速度过快。“着陆舱”撞击火星地表坠毁。“火星3号”顺利实现了着陆,并首次登陆地球以外行星,发送回火星地表图片,但效果模糊,受静电严重干扰。难以置信的是,在撞击火星地面20秒后,“着陆舱”才停止传输信息,无法再次启动。据推测这次事故与沙尘暴有关,强大的火星沙尘暴摧毁了通信系统。
Images: 1) The Mars 2 lander. 2) The Mars 2 rover. NASA via Alexander Chernov and the Virtual Space Museum.
图片:1)“火星2号”的“着陆舱”;2)“火星2号”的“漫步者”,信息由美国宇航局通过亚历山大.切尔诺夫及虚拟航天博物馆得来。

Mars 4, 5, 6, and 7
火星4号,5号,6号及7号
Between July 21 and August 9, 1973, the Soviets launched what basically amounts to an armada at Mars. Four spacecraft lifted off, one after the other in close succession. Unfortunately, not a single one was entirely successful.
1973年7月21日到8月9日期间,苏联发射到火星上的卫星足够组成一个旗舰队。4颗卫星,相继发射到火星。但无一成功。
Mars 4 (above) launched fine and was safely on its way to Mars when a computer chip malfunction prevented a necessary rocket from firing. Subsequently, the probe was going way too fast when it reached Mars, bypassing the planet entirely and drifting off into interplanetary space. Its companion, Mars 5, fared better, entering Martian orbit but then operating for only a few days before shutting down.
“火星4号”顺利发射,并且顺利驶向火星,中途电脑芯片故障,火箭点火晚点,致使到达火星附近时速度过快,越过火星,驶向茫茫太空。其同伴“火星5号”,表现好些,进入了火星轨道,数天后,设备停止工作。
Mars 6 and 7 were each flyby missions that deployed a lander as they approached Mars. Mars 6 successfully released its descent probe, which traveled down to the surface but then crashed, likely from a misfired rocket. It did transmit a few minutes of data on its way down — the first information returned from the atmosphere of Mars. But the mission was a comedy of errors, and much of the data were unreadable because a computer chip error degraded the records during the probe’s journey to Mars. The Mars 7 spacecraft fared much worse, missing the planet entirely due to an on-board malfunction.
“火星6号”及“火星7号”肩负的是近地探测任务,接近火星地表时,成功发射“着陆舱”至地面。就在“探测舱”接触地面的一瞬间,突然爆炸,据推测,火箭故障,导致整体起火。下降过程中,还是有数分钟数据传输回地面,这是第一次,从火星大气层搜集到的资料。这场闹剧并未结束,大部分数据无法读取,航行至火星的途中,电脑芯片出错,致使传输会地面的数据无法读取。“火星7号”更糟,由于着陆设备故障,压根儿就没能登陆火星。
Image: The Soviet Mars 4 probe. NASA
图片:苏联“火星4号”,美国宇航局

Phobos 1 and 2
“火卫1号”和“火卫2号”
Just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country’s space agency sent out two more ambitious Mars probes, Phobos 1 and 2. The Cold War was nearly thawed and the missions relied on the help of 14 other nations, including the U.S.
就在苏联解体之前,野心勃勃的苏联宇航局又发射了两颗火星探测卫星“火卫1号”和“火卫2号”。冷战基本落下帷幕,本次发射倚仗了14国协助,美国就在其中。
Both probes were designed to study one of Mars’ moons, Phobos, and release a lander to the tiny body’s surface. Phobos 1 worked fine until a communication failure, ultimately traced back to a software error that caused the solar panels to face away from the sun, depleting the spacecraft’s batteries. The lesson for programmers is: always check your code!
这两颗卫星都是用于探测火星月亮之一的“火卫一”,并实现登陆。“火卫1号”按计划执行,结果发生了通信错误,后来调查发现,由于软件错误,太阳能板未能有效追踪太阳,电能耗尽,停止工作。这个故事教育程序员要时刻牢记检查源代码。
Phobos 2 was slightly more successful, entering orbit around Mars and returning some data. But before the spacecraft could release its lander to the moon Phobos, it too suffered a communication failure, ending the mission.
“火卫2号”稍微成功一些,到了火星轨道指定位置,并将部分数据发送给地面控制中心。在其试图发射“着陆舱”之时,通讯错误,计划终止。
Image: Phobos spacecraft with the moon and Mars nearby. NASA
图像:航天卫星,背景有火星及其月亮。美国宇航局

Mars Observer
火星观察者
NASA’s Mars Observer was meant to study the climate and geology of Mars from space. The $813 million robot launched in 1992 and cruised its way to Mars.
美国宇航局的“火星观察者”机器人,将在太空研究火星上的气候及地理。耗资813美元,1992年开始其火星之旅。
Though no one is sure exactly what happened, the probe never came through. Engineers suspect that a fuel line ruptured and caused the spacecraft to spin uncontrollably in interplanetary space. The probe lost contact with mission control three days before it was meant to enter Martian orbit.
没有人知道发生了什么,该计划无果而终。据相关工程师判断,可能是燃油管道破裂,卫星失控,消失在茫茫宇宙之中。按照原计划,卫星即将进入火星轨道3天前,与地面控制中心失去联系。
Image: NASA
图片:美国宇航局

Mars 96
“火星96号”
The first Mars probe in the post-Soviet Russian era, Mars 96 was an ambitious spacecraft and the heaviest probe launched up to that point. With instruments from several countries, including the European Union and the U.S., the bloated spacecraft carried an orbiter, two landers to explore the surface, and two penetrators that would have hit and delved about 17 feet into the ground, analyzing the Martian underground for the first time.
后苏联时代,俄罗斯发射的首枚火星探测卫星“火星96号”,当时俄罗斯雄心勃勃,想要将该卫星发射至至火星轨道位置。设备部件采购自多个国家,有欧盟的,也有美国的,硕大的宇宙飞船上有一个轨道飞行器,两个“登陆舱”用来探测月球表面,还有两个挖掘设备,以便到火星地下17英尺(5.18米)深的位置取样,这将是人类首次分析火星土壤构成。
The mission launched in November 1996 but failed to make it to Earth orbit. The spacecraft was a dramatic disaster, crashing back to Earth and breaking up in a 200-mile stretch over the Pacific Ocean, Chile, and Bolivia. Though it was initially believed that most of the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere, later assessments suggested that pieces of the probe hit the ground, possibly including its 200-gram plutonium fuel tank. No part of the spacecraft or upper stage has been recovered to this day.
1996年11月发射了该卫星,未能到达地球轨道指定位置。以悲剧结尾,卫星撞回地球,坠落到智利和保加利亚附近的太平洋内,波及范围约200英里。理论上,部件在大气层中将会燃烧殆尽,但后期调查发现部分设备撞回地面,其中就有重200g的钚油箱。时至今日,尚未发现该飞行器任何零部件。
Image: A model of the Mars 96 probe. NASA
图片:“火星96号”模型,美国宇航局

Nozomi
希望号
The Japanese space agency (JAXA) has one entry in this field with its Nozomi spacecraft. Nozomi (meaning hope) was meant to study the upper Martian atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind. Launched in 1998, the probe took a long, circuitous route, using the Earth and moon several times as gravity assists to save on fuel.
日本宇航局(JAXA)进入火星探测领域的代表作,“希望号”。含义是充满希望的“希望号”用于研究火星大气层内的太阳风交互作用。1998年发射,长途跋涉,百转千回,巧妙地多次运用地球及月球的行星引力来节省燃料。
In April 2002, as Nozomi was approaching Earth for the gravity assist maneuver, powerful solar flares damaged the spacecraft’s on-board communications and power systems. Though the spacecraft flew by Mars the next year, engineers were no longer able to properly control the spacecraft. It was unable to complete its mission and enter Martian orbit and was abandoned that year.
2002年4月,“希望号”在行星引力作用下,到达了地球轨道指定位置,在太阳耀斑效应影响下,通信系统及动力系统损坏。第二年虽然抵达了火星,但脱离了地面控制。无法完成任务,更不用说进入火星轨道指定位置,当年宣告报废。
Image: NASA
图片:美国宇航局

Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander
火星气候探测者号和火星极地着陆者号
Proving that even NASA engineers can have problems with math, one of the most well-known and embarrassing failures in space history came in 1998. The Mars Climate Orbiter was meant to study Martian dust storms, weather systems, clouds, surface features, and erosion. When the spacecraft reached Mars, it completed a burn to enter into orbit around the planet. When the probe went behind Mars, it briefly lost radio contact with mission control. For some reason, it never reestablished the connection.
历史无数次证明了美国宇航局的工程师数学水平的确有限,最臭名昭著的是1998年的航空事故。用来探测火星沙尘暴,天气情况,云层,地表特征及侵蚀作用等等的“火星气候探测者”。抵达火星轨道指定位置后,突然起火。到达火星远地面后,就与控制中心失去联系。出于某种原因,再也没能联系到这颗卫星。
Engineers later determined that the spacecraft had encountered a navigation error stemming from a few commands being sent in English units instead of getting converted to metric. Rather than entering Martian orbit 90 miles above the surface, the probe plunged straight into the atmosphere, where it burned up due to friction.
设计工程师们稍后发现,卫星导航系统出错,因为一些英文部件发出的指令并未转换成公制。按照原计划,应该进入距离火星地表90英里(14.5万米)高的火星轨道指定位置,而该人造卫星实际上,是径直驶向了火星大气层,高速运动的摩擦力,致使整体焚毁。
The other half of the mission, NASA’s Mars Polar Lander, which was meant to descend to the ground near the planet’s South Pole, also suffered a failure. Before reaching the surface, the lander ceased communicating with Earth. Though officials aren’t sure of the exact cause, it is likely that one of the probe’s rockets stopped firing too early, causing the lander to slam into the surface at high velocity.
另外的一个美国宇航局发射的“火星极地登陆者号”,应该降落到火星南极,进行勘探,也以失败告终。到达火星地表前,就停止了与地球控制中心的通讯。官方无从判断原因究竟如何,据传言,由于一个运载火箭提前停止点火,致使整个“登陆者号”撞向火星坠毁。
Image: NASA/JPL
图片:美国宇航局/美国喷气推进实验室

Beagle 2
密探2号
The British Beagle 2 lander was named after Charles Darwin's famous ship and was planned to study the transition between the Martian ancient southern highlands and northern plains. The small probe carried stereo cameras, a microscope, and a small drill, and would have searched for signs of life, past or present.
英国的“密探2号”得名于著名的“查尔斯.达尔文”飞船,用于研究火星南部高原到北部平原的历史变迁。小型探测卫星上设有立体照相机,显微镜和小型电钻,以便寻找火星上曾经出现的及现在出现的生命迹象。
After its scheduled landing, ESA attempted to hail the Beagle 2 lander but heard nothing. Mission control kept trying to call the Beagle for a month after its descent, to no avail. No known cause has been determined for the failure, though electronic glitches, a gasbag puncture, damage to a heat shield, a broken communications antenna, and collision with an unforeseen object could all be possible explanations.
按照原计划,顺利着陆火星后,欧洲航天局正在准备欢呼庆祝之时,“密探2号”音信全无。控制中心持续呼叫“密探2号”约有1个月左右,没有任何回信。迄今为止,这次事故尚无定论。可能电气故障,可能气囊破裂,可能防护罩损坏,可能通信天线损坏,也可能与不明物体相撞,种种猜测都是猜测而已。
Image: NASA
图片:美国宇航局

Phobos-Grunt
福保斯-格朗特(Phobos-Grunt)
The most recent failure to reach Mars was the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission. Launched in 2011, the spacecraft was headed to Mars’ moon Phobos to return a sample from the body’s surface to scientists on Earth. It carried the first Chinese probe to go to the Red Planet as well as a small experiment set up by the Planetary Society to carry live organisms through interplanetary space and see how they fared.
最近一次火星航空事故是俄罗斯的福保斯-格朗特(Phobos-Grunt)人造卫星。2011年发射,该卫星将发射到火星月亮之一的“火卫一”地表,采集样品,并带回地面供科学家研究。首次采用中国制造的卫星,并承担了“行星学会”的携带生命机体到太空,便于进一步研究太空环境对于生命机体的影响的实验任务。
After launching, Phobos-Grunt experienced an unknown malfunction in Earth orbit. It drifted there for a while, watched by telescopes all over the planet. Russian and European attempts to communicate with the probe were unsuccessful. The spacecraft eventually fell back to Earth on Jan. 15, over the Pacific west of Chile.
发射后, 福保斯-格朗特(Phobos-Grunt)到达地球轨道指定位置后,未知错误。在地球轨道悬浮片刻,被全球卫星望远镜捕捉到其漂浮时的情况。俄国及欧洲的工程师试图与该卫星通信,无果而终。1月15日,坠向地球表面,就在智力西侧的太平洋附近。
Image: Roscosmos/IKI
图片:俄罗斯空间局/俄罗斯空间研究所


                                       
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