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NASA's MRO completes 60,000 trips around Mars



NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter hit a hoax
Milestone this morning: At 10:39 am 60,000 loops were driven around the Red Planet
PDT (1:39 pm EDT). On average, the MRO needs 112 minutes to orbit around Mars.
Whipping at about 2 miles per second (3.4 kilometers per second).

Since the entry into orbit on March 10, 2006, the spacecraft has
collected daily science about the surface and atmosphere of the planet,
including detail views with
its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE).
HiRISE is powerful enough to recognize surface features the size of a dining room
Table of 186 miles (300 km) above the surface.

Meanwhile, MRO watches the daily weather and scans it
Underground for ice, which provides data that can influence the design of the future
Missions that bring people to Mars.

But MRO does not just send back its own science; it serves
in a network of relays that re-radiate data from NASA's Mars rovers and back to Earth
Countries. Later this month, MRO will reach another milestone: it will be redirected
1

terabit of data, mostly from the NASA Curiosity Rover. If you have ever enjoyed
one of Curiosity's selfies
or extensive landscapes
or wondered about his scientific discoveries, MRO
they probably helped make this possible.

  MRO infographic

"MRO has given scientists and the public a new one
Perspective of Mars, "said Project Manager Dan Johnston of NASA Jet
Drive Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which leads the mission. "We have
also supported the NASA fleet of Mars surface missions and enabled them to send
their images and discoveries go back to scientists on earth. "

Eyes in the Sky

While Rover and Lander can only study their immediateity
Nearby, the orbiters can view large parts of the entire planet. MRO can actually
Aim anywhere every two weeks at any point on the Martian orb.

The MRO aerial perspective also offers scientists the following: a
complementary view of a dynamic planet. When the seasons change, you can see
Avalanches and cloud patterns. HiRISE has mapped CO 2 .
Ice sublimation
Sand hike
Dunes
and Meteorite
Strikes
redesign the landscape. With his Mars Climate Sounder Instrument
MRO and its Mars Color Imager camera can also study atmospheric events like
the massive global dust
Sturm
who proved to be deadly to NASA
Rover in 2018.

"Mars is our laboratory," said MRO's deputy
Project scientist Leslie Tamppari from JPL. "After more than a decade, we have
collected enough data to formulate and test hypotheses to see how they change
or hold over time. "

Daily calls to
Earth

MRO is one of several orbiters that send data from Mars
Earth every day. Likewise, MRO is the primary relay for Curiosity, Odyssey (NASAs)
most long-lived orbiter) is the primary relay for the agency's newest Martian
Inhabitants, InSight. The Orbiter of the Martian Atmosphere and the Fleeting Evolution (MAVEN)
recently began to change its orbit
in preparation for the entry of the Mars 2020 rover after landing in February
2021. After the data has been sent to an orbiter, they are each transmitted to a huge antenna
from three places on Earth, all of which are part of NASA's Deep Space
Network .

This relay network is now international. The European
The Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter is playing an increasing role
Data sent from the interface. And all these orbits are preparing for the
Arrival of ESA rover Rosalind Franklin ExoMars to land
in the same year as Mars 2020.

Mars Landings

Orbiters like MRO and Odyssey are constantly lightning fast
Imaging potential landing sites for future missions.
After selecting a location and sending a mission to Mars, the orbiters play
another critical role.

Before a surface mission can begin to operate science, it is
must land safely. Successful landings require timely precision, so that the
The spaceship enters exactly the right angle, the parachute, into the Martian atmosphere
opens at the right time and sensors detect the rapidly approaching surface.

MRO and other orbiters serve as black boxes for recording data
about every landing, with the kind of extra mass, the more difficult to grow
comes with a mission like Mars 2020. Engineers use the data to make it safer
Missions – this will be the key to sending astronauts to Mars. To return with plans
NASA looks at the moon's surface until 2024 and looks ahead at the humans
Also explore the Red Planet.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in
Pasadena, California, directs the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for
NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The University of Arizona in
Tucson operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Corp. in Boulder, Colorado. Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego
and operates MARCI.

News Media Contact

Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
818-393-2433
andrew.c.good@jpl.nasa.gov

2019-089


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