The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was a US spacecraft developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and launched November 1996. It began the United States’s return to Mars after a 10-year absence. It completed its primary mission in January 2001 and was in its third extended mission phase when, on 2 November 2006, the spacecraft failed to respond to messages and commands. A faint signal was detected three days later which indicated that the craft had gone into safe mode. All attempts to recontact the Mars Global Surveyor and resolve the problem failed. In January 2007 NASA officially ended the mission.

Cospar ID


Launch Date

1996-11-07 17:00:50 UTC

Carrier Rocket

Delta 7925

Orbital Insertion Date

1997-09-12 01:17:00 UTC

Orbital Elements

Inclination 93 degrees

Apoapsis 17,836 km (11,083 mi)

Periapsis 171.4km (107 mk)

Period 11.64 h

Present Location