Mars Orbiter Launch Delayed Until Friday

August 11, 2005

Today's launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been postponed due to a fuel level sensor issue with the Centaur upper stage aboard the Atlas V rocket.

While loading liquid hydrogen into the Centaur, fuel level sensors inside the stage sent back erroneous readings. At this time engineers are determining whether the problem is with the sensor system or the computer software used with it. The next launch attempt is currently slated to take place in approximately 24 hours.

The spacecraft will examine Martian features ranging from the top of the atmosphere to underground layering. Researchers will use it to study the history and distribution of Martian water. It will also support future Mars missions by characterizing landing sites and providing a high-data-rate communications relay.

"Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the next step in our ambitious exploration of Mars," said NASA's director, Mars Exploration Program, Science Mission Directorate, Douglas McCuistion. "We expect to use this spacecraft's eyes in the sky in coming years as our primary tools to identify and evaluate the best places for future missions to land."

Find more about Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launch at www.physorg.com/news5720.html

Explore further: One year and 272 billion measurements later, Gaia team celebrates first anniversary of observations

Related Stories

SpaceVR aims toward a VR camera in space

August 11, 2015

SpaceVR is a virtual reality platform set to share live 3D, 360 degree content from the International Space Station (ISS) so that anyone with virtual reality gear can feel like an astronaut. The company was founded in January ...

One decade after launch, Mars Orbiter still going strong

August 10, 2015

Ten years after launch, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has revealed the Red Planet's diversity and activity, returning more data about Mars every week than all six other missions currently active there. And its ...

Recommended for you

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.