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Friday, August 12, 2005



Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Lift Off

MRO's lift-off.
MRO's lift-off.
Credit: NASA/KSC
At 7:43:00 a.m EDT, from Complex 41, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off today. The MRO is NASA's next mission to Mars and is expected to return more data than all past Mars missions combined. The orbiter has a 13-month journey ahead of it (7 months cruise and 6 months of aerobraking). The orbiter will return close-up photography, analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, trace how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitor daily global weather. The camera on the MRO has about 1m resolutions, much greater than any other orbiter. The MRO will also be the first craft in the "interplanetary Internet." This will allow a network or relays for other craft to use to communicate with Earth. It will also test Ka-band radio. This might allow it to use less power and have greater performance than previous radios. Godspeed to the orbiter and its team.

(More info: NASA)


- posted by Jim @ 9:17 EST