Scientists find the error
The first NASA mission to Mars in 17 years ends as a total failure, when the American space agency loses contact with the Mars Observer craft on 21 August 1993.
After a 725 million km journey, and only three days before the probe was to enter into an orbit around Mars, NASA no longer receives any signals from it. The connection is never restored, so the craft does not make any of the measurements which were the aim of the USD 813 million mission.
NASA sets up a commission, which analyses 60 accident scenarios. Engineers conclude that the error was due to a fuel pipe leak that might have harmed the craft’s electronics and forced it into an uncontrolled spin, entering into an eternal orbit around the Sun.