News Home, where you will find the "Current Top Stories"The Communication Center contains current news briefs from major Universities, NASA, ESA, and the top three Aviation Mfg.Science section contains all the latest knowledge in Medical Research, Archeology, Biology, and other General Science NewsCurrent Earth Science and Environmental discoveries.The E.A.R., Environmental Awareness Report. E.A.R. will keep you advised of Environmental Alerts, Government, University, and public projects. All the current space discoveries from Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra X-Ray, ESO, Gemini, Subaru, ESA, NASA, and many more. The latest in space theories from leading astronomers and scientist from around the world.The Space Weather Forecast Center by Scientific Frontline, Current up-to-date space weather, forecasts, alerts and warnings. Images from SOHO, GOES, and STEREO. Plus solar observations from Erika RixCurrent space missions newsThe Cassini Main Page. Containing all the latest news from the Cassini Spacecraft around Saturn. Leading into Cassini status reports, The Cassini Gallery of all the latest images from Cassini. Seeing Saturn and all her moons like never before.Daily Sky maps, Celestial Events Calendar.Observatories Gallery, Images from the Great Observatories on Earth and Above. The Stellar Nights  Gallery, An amateur astronomical collection from John Crilly, Richard Handy, Erika Rix, and Paul RixCloudy Nights Telescope Reviews / An Atronomical Community.The latest in Computer, Nanotechnology, and General Technological advancements.The latest in Aviation achievements in civil, military, and space aviationGlobal News Videos, a different kind of news covarage that often overlooked.The news archive from Scientific Frontline's past articles. A world of knowledge at your fingertips.Abstracts, Journals, and Technical papers maintained by Scientific Frontline. The Gateway to all the galleries in the Scientific Frontline collectionSea Shepherd Org. Help save the whales!Research Department | Staff and Researchers OnlySite Related links from major universities, government and private research labs.Assorted Downloads related to space, science, aviation, including screensavers and ASTROMONY SOFTWARE, and other endorsed programs.Scientific Frontline Forum | HypercubeThe foundation of an online publication by SFL ORG. News Network called Scientific FrontlineContact page to Scientific Frontline / SFL ORG. News NetworkDisclaimer / Legal Notice for use of the SFL ORG. News Network's publication Scientific Frontline
 
   
Mars Express
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Mars Odyssey
Mars Exploration Rovers

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Description :

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter


A Mission to Study the History of Water on Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched August 12, 2005, is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water flowed across the surface in Mars' history, it remains a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life.

After a seven-month cruise to Mars and six months of aerobraking to reach its science orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will seek to find out about the history of water on Mars with its science instruments. They will zoom in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, trace how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitor daily global weather.

These studies will help determine if there are deposits of minerals that form in water over long periods of time, detect any shorelines of ancient seas and lakes, and analyze deposits placed in layers over time by flowing water. It will also be able to tell if the underground martian ice discovered by the Mars Odyssey orbiter is the top layer of a deep ice deposit or whether it is a shallow layer in equilibrium with the current atmosphere and its seasonal cycle of water vapor.

Looking at Small-Scale Features

In its survey of the red planet, Mars Reconnaissance will increase tenfold the number of spots surveyed close-up. One of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's cameras is the largest ever flown on a planetary mission. While previous cameras on other Mars orbiters could identify objects no smaller than a school bus, this camera will be able to spot something as small as a dinner table. That capability will also allow the orbiter to identify obstacles like large rocks that could jeopardize the safety of future landers and rovers. Its imaging spectrometer will also be able to look at small-scale areas about five times smaller than a football field, at a scale perfect for identifying any hot springs or other small water features.

Powerful Communications and Navigation Link

The orbiter's telecommunications systems will also establish a crucial service for future spacecraft, becoming the first link in a communications bridge back to Earth, an "interplanetary Internet" that can be used by numerous international spacecraft in coming years. Testing the use of a radio frequency called Ka-band, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may demonstrate the potential for greater performance in communications using significantly less power.

The orbiter also carries an experimental navigation camera. If it performs well, similar cameras placed on orbiters of the future would be able to serve as high-precision interplanetary "eyes" to guide incoming landers to precise landings on Mars, opening up exciting - but otherwise dangerous - areas of the planet to exploration.

The orbiter's primary mission ends about five-and-a-half years after launch, on December 31, 2010.

Image Caption: This artist's concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter highlights the spacecraft's radar capability. The Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument is the long pole-like feature that extends horizontally from the spacecraft. The radar is pictured "beaming" down under the surface of Mars. The foreground of the image is a cross section of the planet, showing the crust, the layers below and, ultimately, reservoirs of ice or liquid water.

The SHARAD instrument will look into the first few hundreds of feet below the martian surface, up to 1 kilometer.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL


Source: NASA






Vote for this image


Powered by Gallery v1 RSS


SFL ORG. Educational News Network


Copyright Notice
The Images and Video's in the gallery pages may be protected by copyright. You may download one copy for non-commercial personal use to be displayed on your personal computer. Use other then non-commercial requires that you obtain permission if copyrighted from the copyright holder. See disclaimer page for more detail. We will help direct you to the proper source if you are unsure of copyright holder or your usage. Please always state proper source / credit.




Scientific Frontline®, Stellar Nights®, E.A.R.®, and Environmental Awareness Report®”
Are Registered Trademarks of the
Online Publication of the SFL ORG. Educational News Network
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
A Not-for-Profit Educational News Service
© 2005 - 2012 All Rights Reserved


Home | Comm. Center | Space Weather Center | Galleries | About Us | FAQ | Site Map | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service