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Mars photography by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Photography By Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

On August 12, 2005, MRO was launched aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Centaur upper stage of the rocket completed its burns over a fifty-six-minute period and placed MRO into an interplanetary transfer orbit towards Mars.
MRO cruised through interplanetary space for seven and a half months before reaching Mars. While en route most of the scientific instruments and experiments were tested and calibrated. To ensure proper orbital insertion upon reaching Mars, four trajectory correction maneuvers were planned and a fifth emergency maneuver was discussed. However, only three trajectory correction maneuvers were necessary, which saved 60 pounds (27 kg) fuel which would be usable during MRO's extended mission.
MRO began orbital insertion by approaching Mars on March 10, 2006, and passing above its southern hemisphere at an altitude of 370–400 kilometres (230–250 mi). All six of MRO's main engines burned for 27 minutes to slow the probe from 2,900 to 1,900 metres per second (9,500 to 6,200 ft/s). The helium pressurization tank was colder than expected, which reduced the pressure in the fuel tank by about 21 kilopascals (3.0 psi). The reduced pressure caused the engine thrust to be diminished by 2%, but MRO automatically compensated by extending the burn time by 33 seconds.
Completion of the orbital insertion placed the orbiter in a highly elliptical polar orbit with a period of approximately 35.5 hours. Shortly after insertion, the periapsis – the point in the orbit closest to Mars – was 3,806 kilometres (2,365 mi) from the planet's center (426 kilometres (265 mi) from its surface). The apoapsis – the point in the orbit farthest from Mars – was 47,972 kilometres (29,808 mi) from the planet's center (44,500 kilometres (27,700 mi) from its surface).

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Keywords:#mars #photography #reconnaissance #orbiter
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Date added:Aug 12, 2016
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