You might not often consider forecasts for other planets or stars. After all, they don't affect you, right? WRONG! Solar flares, or sudden bursts of energy from the Sun, can interrupt communication and electricity here on Earth. Guardians of in-flight spacecraft are especially sensitive to volatile solar forecasts since the emissions from our warm star can damage them severely. September 7, 2005 saw the fourth largest solar flare in the last 15 years
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.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off this morning at 7:43 AM EDT from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The spacecraft is healthy and communicating with ground controllers and the team is overjoyed!
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is ready for a morning launch on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The MRO will arrive at Mars in March 2006 for a mission to understand the planet's water riddles and to advance the exploration of the mysterious red planet.
Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility stand by as the first half of the fairing (left) is moved closer to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (right) for installation. The fairing protects the spacecraft during launch and flight through the atmosphere. Once in space, it is jettisoned. Launch of the orbiter aboard an Atlas V rocket will be from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in a window opening Aug. 10.
NASA's next mission to Mars will examine the red planet in unprecedented detail from low orbit and provide more data about the intriguing planet than all previous missions combined. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its launch vehicle are nearing final stages of preparation at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for a launch opportunity that begins Aug. 10.
It's no easy task getting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ready for launch. Workers stabilize the crane holding one of the enormous billboard-sized solar panels temporarily removed from the spacecraft prior to rigorous testing. This test is one of many "checkups" the spacecraft must undergo to verify its readiness for launch.
A large spacecraft destined to be Earth's next robotic emissary to Mars has completed the first leg of its journey, a cargo-plane ride from Colorado to Florida in preparation for an August launch. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is an important next step in fulfilling NASA's vision of space exploration and ultimately sending human explorers to Mars and beyond.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was delivered in two large containers from Lockheed Martin to Cape Canaveral on an Air Force C-17 cargo plane. Over the next several months, engineers and technicians will prepare the spacecraft for its scheduled launch in August.
Lockheed Martin just delivered the Atlas V rocket to Cape Canaveral! The rocket will now go through a series of tests to ensure it's ready to send Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to the red planet. Lift-off is expected on August 10, 2005.
Even as the Spirit and Opportunity rovers complete a year of successful operation on Mars, the next major step in Mars Exploration is taking shape with preparation of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for launch in just seven months.