Pat Flannery wrote in
On 12/10/2010 2:07 AM, Anonymous Remailer (austria) wrote:
"We have found that the orbiter was not injected into the planned orbit
as a result of orbit estimation,"
In other words: we didn't get the maths right and fired the thrusters
at the wrong time...
This is simply embarrasing! Why didn't they ask NASA or ESA to verify
their calculations? Now they'll have to wait six more years for another
attempt and it's unlikely the craft will still be functioning then.
It could just be that the orbital entry engine burn shut down early.
I wouldn't ask NASA to give me any advice about how to put a spacecraft
into planetary orbit after the Mars Climate Orbiter.
That's what the most recent reports suggest: propellants transitioned
to oxidizer rich, damaging the engine nozzle, and threw the spacecraft
off balance. Possibly a problem with helium pressurization, similar
to problems with the Nozumi Mars probe.
At any rate, it's looking more and more like the main Venus mission is
lost because the propulsion system is nearly useless.