One of the first big space launches of Daniel S. Goldin's long tenure as NASA Administrator came on Sept. 25, 1992, when a Titan 3 booster lifted off from Florida with the Mars Observer scientific spacecraft on board. Eleven months later the sophisticated billion-dollar probe vanished without a trace shortly before it was to enter orbit around the Red Planet, leaving engineers wondering whether it wound up in Mars orbit or bypassed the planet completely. Goldin departs NASA Nov. 17 ...


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