Engineers have not given up on Mars Polar Lander yet, but the easy solutions died about four days after the Dec. 3 landing. There still are plausible scenarios that explain the lack of contact and in which most or all of the mission could be recovered, but they lie in a rapidly expanding tree of more complex faults. However, there is already significant fallout from the apparent loss of NASA's second Mars mission in a row. There will be a broad review of the faster-better-cheaper ...

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