Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Artist's impression of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.
|Mission type||Mars orbiter|
|Operator||NASA / JPL|
|Mission duration||Primary mission: 2 years|
Elapsed: 15 years, 8 months and 26 days from launch
15 years, 1 month and 28 days (5390 sols) at Mars
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin / University of Arizona / APL / ASI / Malin Space Science Systems|
|Launch mass||2,180 kg (4,810 lb)|
|Dry mass||1,031 kg (2,273 lb)|
|Payload mass||139 kg (306 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||August 12, 2005, 11:43:00UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas V 401|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-41|
|Orbital insertion||March 10, 2006, 21:24:00 UTC|
MSD 46990 12:48 AMT
20 Dhanus 211 Darian
Official insignia of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a NASA spacecraft. It launched August 12, 2005 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived at Mars on March 10, 2006. It went into orbit around Mars, and has been studying the planet since then. The main area of study is looking for water on Mars, under the surface of Mars, and in the atmosphere of Mars. To do this, it has the largest telescope ever sent to another planet. The orbiter also works as a communications satellite. Its powerful antennas send and receive messages between NASA on Earth, and rovers on the surface of Mars.