New Mars orbiter to launch next month

Jul 22, 2005

NASA says the Mars orbiter set to launch next month will study the planet in unprecedented detail, providing more data than all previous missions combined.

The spacecraft will carry six instruments for analyzing the atmosphere, surface and subsurface of Mars, National Aeronautical and Space Administration officials said Thursday.

One of the science payload's three cameras will be the largest-diameter telescopic camera sent to another planet. The second camera will expand the present area of high-resolution coverage by a factor of 10; and a third camera will provide global maps of Martian weather, NASA said.

The other three instruments will be a spectrometer, a ground-penetrating radar unit, and a radiometer to monitor atmospheric dust, water vapor and temperature.

The launch window will open Aug. 10 and the orbiter is to reach Mars next March.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

The pale blue dot and other 'selfies' of Earth

Apr 06, 2015

Twenty-five years ago a set of images were taken that provided a unique view of Earth and helped highlight the fragility of our existence, and the importance of our stewardship.

OSIRIS-REx mission passes critical milestone

Apr 02, 2015

NASA's groundbreaking science mission to retrieve a sample from an ancient space rock has moved closer to fruition. The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) ...

Scientists fly kites on Earth to study Mars

Mar 16, 2015

An unconventional research method allows for a new look at geologic features on Earth, revealing that some of the things we see on Mars and other planets may not be what they seem.

Mystery giant Mars plumes still unexplained

Mar 02, 2015

On Feb. 16, an international group of researchers proposed new hypotheses about some unusual plumes spotted by amateur astronomers on Mars in 2012. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km ...

Recommended for you

The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved

15 hours ago

A long-standing puzzle regarding the nature of disk galaxies has finally been solved by a team of astronomers led by Ivan Minchev from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), using state-of-the-art ...

Giant cosmic tsunami wakes up comatose galaxies

17 hours ago

Galaxies are often found in clusters, with many 'red and dead' neighbours that stopped forming stars in the distant past. Now an international team of astronomers, led by Andra Stroe of Leiden Observatory ...

User comments : 0

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.