Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes First Task In Seven-Month Cruise

Date:
August 23, 2005
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on Aug. 12, has completed one of the first tasks of its seven-month cruise to Mars, a calibration activity for the spacecraft's Mars Color Imager instrument.

Artist's concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter en route to Mars.
Credit: Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on Aug. 12, hascompleted one of the first tasks of its seven-month cruise to Mars, acalibration activity for the spacecraft's Mars Color Imager instrument.

"We have transitioned from launch mode to cruise mode, and thespacecraft continues to perform extremely well," said Dan Johnston,Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter deputy mission manager at NASA's JetPropulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The first and largest of four trajectory correction maneuvers scheduled before the orbiter reaches Mars is planned for Aug. 27.

For the calibration task on Aug. 15, the spacecraft slewed about 15degrees to scan the camera across the positions of the Earth and Moon,then returned to the attitude it will hold for most of the cruise. Datawere properly recorded onboard, downlinked to Earth and received by theMars Color Imager team at Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. Dr.Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, principal investigatorfor Mars Color Imager, said the image data are being processed andanalyzed.

This multiple-waveband camera is the widest-angle instrument of fourcameras on the orbiter, designed for imaging all of Mars daily from analtitude of about 300 kilometers (186 miles). Imaged at a range of morethan 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) away, the crescent Earth andMoon fill only a few pixels and are not resolved in the image. However,this is enough useful information to characterize the instrument'sresponse in its seven color bands, including two ultraviolet channelsthat will be used to trace ozone in the Mars atmosphere. This is thefirst of two events early in the cruise phase that check instrumentcalibrations after launching. The second will occur in early Septemberwhen higher resolution cameras are pointed at Earth and the Moon as thespacecraft continues its flight to Mars.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will reach Mars and enter orbit onabout March 10, 2006. After gradually adjusting the shape of its orbitfor half a year, it will begin its primary science phase in November2006. The mission will examine Mars in unprecedented detail from loworbit, returning several times more data than all previous Marsmissions combined. Scientists will use its instruments to gain a betterunderstanding of the history and current distribution of Mars' water.By inspecting possible landing sites and by providing a high-data-raterelay, it will also support future missions that land on Mars.

More information about the mission is available online at http://www.nasa.gov/mro .

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission is managed by JPL, adivision of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, for theNASA Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems,Denver, prime contractor for the project, built both the spacecraft andthe launch vehicle.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes First Task In Seven-Month Cruise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819090943.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2005, August 23). Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes First Task In Seven-Month Cruise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819090943.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Completes First Task In Seven-Month Cruise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819090943.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — The initial blast from the record-setting explosion would have appeared more than 10,000 times more powerful than any flare ever recorded. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Michigan simulated the birth of planets and our sun to determine whether water in the solar system predates the sun. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins