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Press Release
read the article 'NASA Mars Team Teaches Old Rovers New Tricks to Kick Off Year Four'
December 28, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's twin Mars rovers, nearing the third anniversary of their landings, are getting smarter as they get older. The unexpected longevity of Spirit and Opportunity is giving the space agency a chance to field-test on Mars some new capabilities useful both to these missions and future rovers.
read the article 'NASA Mars Team Teaches Old Rovers New Tricks to Kick Off Year Four' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Seasonal Frost on Mars'
December 22, 2006

Using its high-tech mineral detector, MRO finds water frost (shaded in blue) on a crater rim.
read the article 'Seasonal Frost on Mars' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA Names New Manager for MRO'
December 22, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has a new project manager. Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., had been deputy project manager for the orbiter since early 2006. JPL's Jim Graf, who led the Mars robotic mission from development through flight to the red planet, is moving on to new challenges. He has joined JPL's Earth Science and Technology Directorate as deputy director.
read the article 'NASA Names New Manager for MRO' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'NASA Spacecraft Read Layered Clues to Changes on Mars'
December 13, 2006

Related Animation...

Studies of recent Martian climate change are on the rise with new data from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Much as scientists study Earth's ice ages through layered deposits, the science team is seeking clues to Mars' past by studying ice-rich layers at the Martian poles. The mineral gypsum and clay minerals found at the poles will be important, as they are indicators of wet conditions on Mars in the past. Radar penetrations that reveal thickness and fine-scale layering will also help define climate variations and environmental conditions on Mars over time.
read the article 'NASA Spacecraft Read Layered Clues to Changes on Mars' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Geologists Finding a Different Mars Underneath'
December 13, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mars is showing scientists its older, craggier face buried beneath the surface, thanks to a pioneering sounding radar co-sponsored by NASA aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter.
read the article 'Geologists Finding a Different Mars Underneath' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA Spacecraft Read Layered Clues to Changes on Mars'
December 13, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Layers on Mars are yielding history lessons revealed by instruments flying overhead and rolling across the surface. Some of the first radar and imaging results from NASA's newest Mars spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, show details in layers of ice-rich deposits near the poles. Observed variations in the layers' thickness and composition will yield information about recent climate cycles on the red planet.
read the article 'NASA Spacecraft Read Layered Clues to Changes on Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site at Gusev Crater'
December 4, 2006

Viking 30th Anniversary stories

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured glimpses of its ancestors and sister spacecraft from the orbiter's soaring vantage point.
read the article 'Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site at Gusev Crater' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA Mars Orbiter Photographs Spirit and Vikings on the Ground'
December 4, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

New images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show three additional NASA spacecraft that have landed on Mars: the Spirit rover active on the surface since January 2004 and the two Viking landers that successfully reached the surface in 1976.
read the article 'NASA Mars Orbiter Photographs Spirit and Vikings on the Ground' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'New Images From Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter'
November 29, 2006

University of Arizona Release

View Related Animation

Some new, high resolution images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show channels in a fossil delta, troughs in sand dunes and hardware from the landing of the rover Opportunity.
read the article 'New Images From Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'HiRISE Team Begins Releasing a Flood of Mars Images Over the Internet'
November 22, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

HiRISE Team Begins Releasing a Flood of Mars Images Over the Internet
read the article 'HiRISE Team Begins Releasing a Flood of Mars Images Over the Internet' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'NASA's Newest Mars Orbiter Passes Communications Relay Test'
November 17, 2006

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully tested another key part of its payload, a versatile radio for relaying communications with robots on the surface of Mars.
read the article 'NASA's Newest Mars Orbiter Passes Communications Relay Test' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'During Solar Conjunction, Mars Spacecraft Will Be on Autopilot'
October 20, 2006

For a brief time, the sun will get in the way of communications between Earth and Mars spacecraft, but mission teams are well prepared for this natural event called solar conjunction.
read the article 'During Solar Conjunction, Mars Spacecraft Will Be on Autopilot' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details Of Mars, Young And Old'
October 16, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's newest Mars spacecraft is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the red planet.
read the article 'NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details Of Mars, Young And Old' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA'S Mars Rover and Orbiter Team Examines Victoria Crater'
October 6, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's long-lived robotic rover Opportunity is beginning to explore layered rocks in cliffs ringing the massive Victoria crater on Mars.
read the article 'NASA'S Mars Rover and Orbiter Team Examines Victoria Crater' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA's New Mars Camera Gives Dramatic View of Planet'
September 29, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mars is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars is returning low-altitude images to Earth from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
read the article 'NASA's New Mars Camera Gives Dramatic View of Planet' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Mineral Mapper Flips Its Lid'
September 28, 2006

Full story from Johns Hopkins University

NASA's latest orbiter to visit Mars achieved another mark of success this week. The mineral-mapping instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully removed its lens cover and is ready to start observing the planet. This comes on the heels of a successful test of the orbiter's subsurface radar antenna. This period of powering on instruments and completing calibrations leads up to the orbiter's primary science phase, beginning in November 2006.
read the article 'Mars Mineral Mapper Flips Its Lid' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Shaking on SHARAD's Success'
September 20, 2006

Scientists and engineers waited anxiously for word that SHARAD, the Shallow Subsurface Radar antenna aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, was extended and functioning properly. Cheers and applause filled the mission support area when tests confirmed that the antenna is working and ready to begin scoping out the subsurface of Mars.
read the article 'Shaking on SHARAD's Success' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Ground-Piercing Radar on NASA Mars Orbiter Ready for Work'
September 19, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has extended the long-armed antenna of its radar, preparing the instrument to begin probing for underground layers of Mars.
read the article 'Ground-Piercing Radar on NASA Mars Orbiter Ready for Work' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Planned Flight Path'
September 12, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has completed the challenging half-year task of shaping its orbit to the nearly circular, low-altitude pattern from which it will scrutinize the planet.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Planned Flight Path' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Adjusts Angle of Orbit'
September 6, 2006

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter fired its six intermediate-size thrusters for 210 seconds Tuesday in a maneuver to make the shape of its orbit closer to the planned geometry for the mission's main science phase, beginning in November.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Adjusts Angle of Orbit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Successfully Concludes Aerobraking'
August 30, 2006

Nearly six months after it entered orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has concluded its aerobraking phase. The spacecraft had been dipping in and out of the red planet's atmosphere to adjust its orbit. On August 30, 2006, during its 445th orbit, the spacecraft fired its intermediate thrusters to raise the low point of its orbit and stop dipping into the atmosphere.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Successfully Concludes Aerobraking' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Nears End of Aerobraking'
August 25, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has begun the final and fastest-paced portion of its "aerobraking" process of using friction with the top of Mars' atmosphere to shrink the spacecraft's orbit.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Nears End of Aerobraking' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Pace Quickens for NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mars'
June 19, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has already cut the size and duration of each orbit by more than half, just 11 weeks into a 23-week process of shrinking its orbit. By other indicators, the lion's share of the job lies ahead.
read the article 'Pace Quickens for NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Continues Aerobraking'
May 10, 2006

NASA's latest orbiter to visit the Red Planet is well into its main phase of aerobraking. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has cut about 10 hours off of its initial orbit by strategically dipping in and out of Mars' thin atmosphere.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Continues Aerobraking' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Mars Cameras Debut As NASA Craft Adjusts Orbit'
April 13, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Researchers today released the first Mars images from two of the three science cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
read the article 'Mars Cameras Debut As NASA Craft Adjusts Orbit' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Craft Begins Adjusting Orbit'
March 31, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter yesterday began a crucial six-month campaign to gradually shrink its orbit into the best geometry for the mission's science work.
read the article 'NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Craft Begins Adjusting Orbit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Next Phase: Aerobraking'
March 29, 2006

After a nearly flawless entry into martian orbit, what is next for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter? Six months of precise aerobraking will position the spacecraft for optimal science return.
read the article 'Next Phase: Aerobraking' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'HiRISE Team Anxiously Awaits Images'
March 24, 2006

Sleep is secondary to Dr. Alfred McEwen and his HiRISE team. They are eager to see what their instrument is seeing from orbit around Mars. Scientists and engineers at the University of Arizona are gearing up to see the first test images of Mars taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.
read the article 'HiRISE Team Anxiously Awaits Images' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'First Mars Image from Newly Arrived Camera'
March 24, 2006

Streams of data poured in overnight as excited engineers and scientists waited to see what the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera was seeing from orbit around Mars. The results were worth waiting up for! Share in the excitement of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's first images from orbit.
read the article 'First Mars Image from Newly Arrived Camera' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA's New Mars Orbiter Returns Test Images'
March 24, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The first test images of Mars from NASA's newest spacecraft provide a tantalizing preview of what the orbiter will reveal when its main science mission begins next fall.
read the article 'NASA's New Mars Orbiter Returns Test Images' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Testing HiRISE'
March 23, 2006

Scientists and engineers at the University of Arizona are gearing up to see the first test images of Mars taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.
read the article 'Testing HiRISE' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Successfully Enters Orbit Around Mars!'
March 10, 2006

Cheers of joy filled the mission control area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory today as its latest mission to Mars met a critical mission milestone: Mars orbit insertion. At 2:16 p.m. (PST), ground controllers were informed by the Deep Space Network that they had locked up on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's signal as the spacecraft reappeared above Mars. This communication was a tremendous relief to the mission team as they had to wait nearly half an hour for their spacecraft to emerge from behind the red planet and back into range so that radio signals could again be transmitted. A few minutes later, it was confirmed that the orbiter was captured into the intended initial orbit.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Successfully Enters Orbit Around Mars!' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Robotic NASA Craft Begins Orbiting Mars for Most-Detailed Exam'
March 10, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

With a crucially timed firing of its main engines today, NASA's new mission to Mars successfully put itself into orbit around the red planet. The spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, will provide more science data than all previous Mars missions combined.
read the article 'Robotic NASA Craft Begins Orbiting Mars for Most-Detailed Exam' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Fast-Talking NASA Spacecraft Starts Final Approach to Mars'
March 8, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has begun its final approach to the red planet after activating a sequence of commands designed to get the spacecraft successfully into orbit.
read the article 'Fast-Talking NASA Spacecraft Starts Final Approach to Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'An Engineer's First Trip to Mars'
March 7, 2006

Tracy Drain ticks off the complex chain of mission planning and software programming required for NASA's latest Mars orbiter to reach its destination.
read the article 'An Engineer's First Trip to Mars' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival'
February 24, 2006
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

As it nears Mars on March 10, a NASA spacecraft designed to examine the red planet in unprecedented detail from low orbit will point its main thrusters forward, then fire them to slow itself enough for Mars' gravity to grab it into orbit.
read the article 'NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is on the Approach'
February 3, 2006

This diagram illustrates the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's journey from launch to Mars. The inner circle (blue) represents Earth in orbit around the Sun (center). The green and yellow line represents the spacecraft on its way to Mars. The outer (red) circle represents Mars in orbit around the Sun. Four major stages of the mission are labeled: launch, cruise, approach and Mars orbit insertion. Also labeled are the opportunities for trajectory correction maneuvers, or chances to tweak the orbiter's path. The third trajectory correction maneuver was deemed unnecessary due to the precision of the spacecraft's current path.
read the article 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is on the Approach' Read More

Related Information

Latest Mars News - RSS Feed
What does it take to get a spacecraft from Earth all the way to Mars? There are a few key things to consider, as explained in this 60-second video from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Mars in a Minute: How Do You Get to Mars?
What does it take to get a spacecraft from Earth all the way to Mars? There are a few key things to consider, as explained in this 60-second video from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
› Watch Video
At the center of this view of an area of mid-latitude northern Mars, a fresh crater about 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter holds an exposure of bright material, blue in this false-color image.
Exposed Ice in a Fresh Crater
At the center of this view of an area of mid-latitude northern Mars, a fresh crater about 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter holds an exposure of bright material, blue in this false-color image.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona




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