NASA reported that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent back of 200 terabits worth of data—or to break it down, three months’ worth of non-stop high definition video, since 2006. That figure is more than 3 times the total data returned through NASA’s Deep Space Network for all the other missions managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory over the past 10 years. That’s a lot of data. But maybe it’s because MRO does practically everything! It takes 3D images of the Martian surface, probes underground layers, identifies surface materials, examines cross-sections of the atmosphere, tracks weather and the list goes on and on. The orbiter met all its original mission goals in just 2 years, but has been through three mission extensions.
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