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PRESS RELEASE
10.19.2014

All Three NASA Mars Orbiters Healthy After Comet Flyby

Siding Spring Mars Spacecraft
Siding Spring Mars Spacecraft
This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them fro comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet.

Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter all are part of a campaign to study comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring and possible effects on the Martian atmosphere from gases and dust released by the comet. The comet sped past Mars today much closer than any other known comet flyby of Mars or Earth.

Additional information about the precautions and observations by each of the three orbiters is at

http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1736

http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1734 and

http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1735

for Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and MAVEN, respectively.

For more information about comet Siding Spring and the investigations of its Mars flyby, visit:

http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/

2014-364

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
818-354-6278
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Nancy Jones / Bill Steigerwald
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
301-286-0039 / 301-286-5017
nancy.n.jones@nasa.gov / william.a.steigerwald@nasa.gov

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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