NASA’s Successful Mars Orbiter Reaches a 60,000-lap Milestone of Observations

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NASA has reported that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has completed a full 60,000 orbits around Mars, collecting valuable information about the Red Planet’s surface and atmosphere. The MRO makes a full orbit every 112, with a speed of approximately 2 miles per second (3.4 kilometers per second).

According to an announcement released by NASA, the space satellite entered its 60,000-circuit landmark at precisely 1.39 p.m. EDT (18.39 GMT) on May the 15th.

Dan Johnston, a project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in the report that MRO had provided researchers and the broad public with a new view of the Red Planet. The orbiter has also assisted in NASA’s group of probes of Mars surface expeditions, enabling them to transfer their captures and discoveries to scientists on the Earth soil.

The MRO Orbiter took off in August 2005 and reached Mars’ orbit a year later, in March 2006, beginning its observations in November 2006, and gathering accurate images of the Mars’ surface, also observing day-to-day weather trends utilizing its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE).

The orbiter is also the main transmitter for NASA’s Curiosity rover. The rover communicates with the space satellite and sends data to one of NASA’s Deep Space Network antennas on the soil. MRO will also complete another landmark this month: transferring one terabyte of data on the ground since it began its observations on Mars, 13 years ago, NASA stated.

Besides the MRO orbiter, other few tools that cycle Mars and relay significant data back on Earth exists. The instruments include NASA’s Odyssey, which is the oldest orbiter at the moment. The Odyssey is also a main relay for the InSight Mars lander, and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter. The later is said to aid the Mars 2020 rover land smoothly, and without risks on the Red Planet in February 2021, NASA says.


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