Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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A NASA space probe to Mars, launched in 2005 August. It entered polar orbit around Mars in 2006 March and used aerobraking to circularize its orbit. The mission's main objectives are to look for evidence of past or present water, to study Martian weather and climate, and to identify landing sites for future missions. The Orbiter carries a wide-angle camera (CTX), a stereo imaging camera (HiRISE) capable of resolving details as small as 0.2 m wide, a camera to monitor clouds and dust storms (MARCI), and a visible/near-infrared spectrometer (CRISM) to examine the surface composition. Also on board is an infrared radiometer (MCS) to study the atmosphere, an accelerometer, and a shallow subsurface sounding radar (SHARAD) provided by the Italian Space Agency to search for underground water. The orbiter will also serve as a telecommunications link for future missions.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/ Official mission website.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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