Mars Orbiter Launch Delayed Until Friday

Aug 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 phys.org/news5720.html

Explore further: Asteroid named for University of Utah makes public debut

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indian spacecraft on course to enter Mars orbit (Update)

11 hours ago

India will soon know if its first interplanetary mission will achieve its goal, when a spacecraft built with homegrown technology for a remarkably low price tag of $75 million begins its final maneuvers into ...

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

8 hours ago

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

Getting to the root of the problem in space

6 hours ago

When we go to Mars, will astronauts be able to grow enough food there to maintain a healthy diet? Will they be able to produce food in NASA's Orion spacecraft on the year-long trip to Mars? How about growing ...

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

Sep 20, 2014

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

Recommended for you

The difference between CMEs and solar flares

8 hours ago

This is a question we are often asked: what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare? We discussed it in a recent astrophoto post, but today NASA put out a video with amazing graphics that explain ...

Image: NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo

9 hours ago

This picture, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows a galaxy known as NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). Its unusual shape is caused ...

Measuring the proper motion of a galaxy

10 hours ago

The motion of a star relative to us can be determined by measuring two quantities, radial motion and proper motion. Radial motion is the motion of a star along our line of sight. That is, motion directly ...

User comments : 0