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Fraser
2006-Mar-11, 12:01 AM
SUMMARY: Mars added a new satellite today, when NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at the Red Planet. The spacecraft fired its engines for 27 minutes shortly before arrival to slow it down a little, just enough so that Mars could capture it with its gravity. Over the next seven months, the spacecraft will pass through Mars' atmosphere 550 times, slowing itself down further through a process called aerobraking. After having settled into its final orbit, it will search for signs of water and scout out future landing locations.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/mro_final_approach.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

TuTone
2006-Mar-11, 01:54 AM
Yay NASA!!! I'm excited with what kind of data they will deliver.

tony873004
2006-Mar-11, 04:02 AM
I love these missions. Here's a graphic I made of the arrival trajectory and initial orbit of MRO. Also included is the trajectory it would have followed had it not made its burn. The orbits of Phobos and Deimos are shown as well.

more details: http://www.orbitsimulator.com/gravity/articles/MROarrival.html
http://www.orbitsimulator.com/gravity/MRO1.GIF

Mephisto
2006-Mar-11, 10:26 AM
I love these missions. Here's a graphic I made of the arrival trajectory and initial orbit of MRO. Also included is the trajectory it would have followed had it not made its burn. The orbits of Phobos and Deimos are shown as well.

more details: http://www.orbitsimulator.com/gravity/articles/MROarrival.html



Well done on the graphics! It's always nice to see a diagram so you can get the image of the craft taking up orbit in your head.

Wolf-S
2006-Mar-11, 10:44 AM
Congratulations to all MRO staff!

snabald
2006-Mar-11, 04:24 PM
I'm glad it didn't explode, great jod MRO staff!!!

cumulusgranite
2006-Mar-11, 05:02 PM
Some of the weather (seasonal) data sent back should be very interesting. Also, it has an awesome camera on board. The pictures, excuse the pun, should be out of this world.
I certainly hope there are no serious problems.

Dragon Star
2006-Mar-11, 06:32 PM
Indeed, job well done, welcome to the forum cumulusgranite!:D

antoniseb
2006-Mar-11, 06:46 PM
... it has an awesome camera on board.

An interesting point about the camera is that it takes pictures of such small parts of the planet, in such high detail, that only a tiny fraction of Mars will ever be photographed by this instrument.

Tharsis
2006-Mar-11, 07:28 PM
Hello all, first time poster. I wonder what success is any the HiRise camera will have locating some of the past failed landers like Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander.

Dragon Star
2006-Mar-11, 07:35 PM
Thats a good question Tharsis, it would be great if it did!

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Mar-11, 08:29 PM
Hello all, first time poster. I wonder what success is any the HiRise camera will have locating some of the past failed landers like Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander.

I doubt they'll look for the Climate Orbiter. They wouldn't know where to look for the wreckage given that they were trying to orbit and not land the thing. There isn't an sort of landing eclipse that could be used as a reference. It's just too wide an area to search. Besides, it pretty much an open and closed case on what happened to it. As for the Polar Lander that's a different story. They know approximately the small area where it was attempting to land so their search pattern is much tighter. Still the point of the probe is science and not finding lost probes so the priority of this search isn't high on the list. Don't expect MRO to look for wreckage any time soon.

Duane
2006-Mar-13, 09:12 PM
One of the initial thoughts regarding HiRISE was that its resolution was high enough to possibly locate MPL, if it is intact on the surface (no guarantee). From a 2003 Space.com article (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/mars_polar_lander_031222.html):


Onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment). This super-powerful camera will reveal small-scale objects in the debris blankets of mysterious gullies and details of geologic structure of canyons, craters, and layered deposits. And it could also take long shots at finding Mars Polar Lander.

HiRISE should be able to resolve objects a little smaller than 3.3 feet (1 meter) diameter, said Alfred McEwen, the principal investigator of HiRISE at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "But the Martian surface is littered with meter-scale objects, so we could image the lander but not be able to distinguish it from a boulder," he told SPACE.com.

The camera also has color imaging capability, so perhaps a bump with an anomalous color could be detected, McEwen said. "Or maybe there's a strewn field, perhaps including a few pieces we could detect as pixels with anomalous colors," he added.

McEwen said he was not enthusiastic about taking on such a search for Mars Polar Lander, unless there are specific locations that are strong candidates. "But if NASA wants us to make a more extensive search, then we will certainly cooperate."

It is also possible that BeagleII could be seen, although its location is even less certain that MPL's and it is not likely to be anything other than an opportunistic target.