SUMMARY: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is set to launch in just a couple of days - its launch window opens up on Wednesday, August 10 at 1153 UTC (7:53 am EDT). If all goes well, the spacecraft will blast off on top of an Atlas V-401 rocket with Russian-made RD-180 engines. When it finally reaches Mars in a few months, MRO will begin a series of 514 aerobraking maneuvers, where it skims through the top of the atmosphere to slow down its velocity and bring it into its final science orbit.

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