Eagle-Eyed NASA Mars Probe Celebrates 10 Years at Pink Planet

A NASA Mars spacecraft celebrates a serious milestone at present — a decade circling the Pink Planet.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived on the Pink Planet on March 10, 2006 and has completed yeoman’s work within the decade since. To mark the event, NASA created this video celebrating the MRO’s 10 years at Mars .

MRO pictures Mars in unprecedented element, and its observations have helped researchers maintain tabs on the dynamic planet. MRO can also be liable for quite a lot of essential discoveries through the years —together with the current willpower that water flows seasonally on some elements of recent-day Mars.

Learn Extra: Mars Exhibits Robust Indicators of Flowing Water, Researchers Say

"This mission has helped us recognize how a lot Mars — a planet that has modified tremendously over time — continues to vary at the moment," MRO undertaking scientist Wealthy Zurek, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, stated in a press release.

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Eagle-Eyed NASA Mars Probe Celebrates 10 Years at Red Planet

Mars Water a hundred and one: What's New within the New Discovery 1:01

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Thus far, MRO has despatched 264 terabits of scientific knowledge again to Earth — greater than all different interplanetary missions in historical past put collectively, NASA officers stated. A number of the probe’s observations assist researchers consider attainable touchdown websites for future robotic and human missions, and others assist route planning for NASA’s two operational Mars rovers, Alternative and Curiosity.

MRO additionally serves as an important communications hyperlink between these two rovers and their handlers on Earth. (The company’s Mars Odyssey orbiter additionally offers this relay service.)

Learn Extra: NASA Delays Mars InSight Lander Mission to 2018

The $720 million MRO mission launched on Aug. 12, 2005, tasked with, amongst different issues, learning Martian geology and local weather and looking for proof that Mars has ever hosted liquid water for lengthy durations of time — lengthy sufficient to probably present a habitat for all times.

This can be a condensed model of a report from Area.com. Learn the complete report. Comply with Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Comply with Area.com@Spacedotcom, Fb or Google+.

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