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Latest Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Stories

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2007-09-20 17:25:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is examining several features on Mars that address the role of water at different times in Martian history. Features examined with the orbiter's advanced instruments include material deposited in two gullies within the past eight years, polar ice layers formed in the recent geologic past, and signs of water released by large impacts when Mars was older. Last year, discovery of the fresh gully deposits from before-and-after images taken...

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2007-09-05 11:58:26

Two crucial tools for a successful landing of America's latest mission to Mars, the radar and UHF radio on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, have passed in-flight checkouts. The ultra-high-frequency radio won't be turned on again until landing day, May 25, 2008, when it will relay communications from Phoenix to orbiters already in service around Mars. Since launch on Aug. 4, 2007, and until the day it reaches Mars, Phoenix is communicating directly with Earth via even higher frequency X-band...

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2007-08-25 09:44:14

Diagnostic tests and months of stable, successful operation have resolved concerns raised early this year about long-term prospects for the powerful telescopic camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the orbiter has now taken more than 3,000 images of Mars, resolving features as small as a desk in targeted areas covering thousands of square miles of the Martian surface. Already, this is the largest Mars data set ever...

2007-08-06 18:12:21

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp company, provided propulsion for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission which launched on Aug. 4 at 5:26 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A, Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is the first launch in NASA's "Scout Program" -- missions that are designed to be lower cost complements to larger missions being planned for NASA's Mars Exploration Program....

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2007-07-03 18:05:00

A giant dust storm brewing for more than a week on Mars has become worse and is affecting surface operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Because the rovers depend on solar energy for survival, and the dust is partially blocking the sun, the storm is being watched closely by the rover scientists and engineers. Opportunity's entry into Victoria Crater is delayed for at least several days. The storm, the most severe storm yet to hit the rovers, is expected to...

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2007-04-16 12:50:00

Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are paving the way for a smooth landing on Mars for the Phoenix Mission scheduled to launch in August this year by making sure the set-down literally is not a rocky one. A team led by Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences, has been analyzing images taken from a NASA instrument to make sure that the Phoenix spacecraft lands in a spot on the Red planet's...

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2007-04-13 11:40:00

WASHINGTON - After studying Mars four times as long as originally planned, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter appears to have succumbed to battery failure caused by a complex sequence of events involving the onboard computer memory and ground commands. The causes were released today in a preliminary report by an internal review board. The board was formed to look more in-depth into why NASA's Mars Global Surveyor went silent in November 2006 and recommend any processes or procedures that...

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2007-02-15 14:00:00

Liquid or gas flowed through cracks penetrating underground rock on ancient Mars, according to a report based on some of the first observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. These fluids may have produced conditions to support possible habitats for microbial life. These ancient patterns were revealed when the most powerful telescopic camera ever sent to Mars began examining the planet last year. The camera showed features as small as approximately 3 feet across. Mineralization took...

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2007-02-07 18:40:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft this month is set to surpass the record for the most science data returned by any Mars spacecraft. While the mission continues to produce data at record levels, engineers are examining why two instruments are intermittently not performing entirely as planned. All other spacecraft instruments are operating normally and continue to return science data. Since beginning its primary science phase in November 2006, the orbiter has returned enough data...

df15fed6a102a574bf2fbc445971eb9b1
2007-01-31 12:44:36

The HiRISE camera is the most powerful telescope to have left Earth orbit. As such, it is capable of some interesting astronomical observations. This image of Jupiter and its major satellites (10 MB) was acquired to calibrate the pointing and color response of the camera. An oversight in planning this unusual observation put the focus mechanism in the wrong location, blurring the image. This does not detract from the calibration objectives, but makes the raw image less esthetic. To...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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