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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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Mission Timeline

Mission Timeline
Mission Timeline

This mission is being designed to launch in 2020 and to enable surface operations lasting one Mars year (about 687 Earth days).

The phases of the mission would include:

  • Prelaunch Activities: Preparation for the mission, including pre-project planning, science definition, landing site selection, assembly and testing, and delivery to Cape Canaveral
  • Launch: Lift-off from Earth
  • Cruise: Voyage through space
  • Approach: Nearing the red planet Mars
  • Entry, Descent, and Landing: Journey through the martian atmosphere to the surface
  • Instrument Checks and First Drive: After landing when engineers first conduct tests to ensure the rover is in a "safe state"
  • Surface Operations: Learning about Mars through the day-to-day activities of the rover