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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

 Automatic translationAutomatic translation Category: probes and satellites
Updated June 01, 2013

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is the name of the eagle eye of a new generation of probes to photograph Mars.
The U.S. probe, launched Friday, August 12, 2005 from Cape Canaveral base in Florida, helping to enrich our knowledge about Mars, as the history of its water, its climate or its basement.
MRO is the fourth artificial satellite in activity of the Red Planet, joining the European probe Mars Express, and the two NASA probes Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor. MRO will identify the best landing sites for probes or men to come and will, upon completion of its scientific mission, communication relay to Earth until 2015. This probe is much bigger than the previous (Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey). With a height of 6.50 m and a diameter of 3 m, monster stuffed technology, contains 11 instruments in total to ensure its scientific mission, navigation and communication with Earth (High Resolution Stereo Camera HiRISE, camera CTX context, imaging spectrometer CRISM, MARCI camera, radiometer MCS, SHARAD radar, radio transmitters science,...).
On a total mass of 2180 kg at liftoff, MRO was launched by an Atlas V rocket-401. After traveling 500 million km in 7 months to 3 km/s, it was positioned in orbit around Mars.

 

On March 10, 2006, after a journey of seven months, it has successfully executed the delicate maneuvers into orbit around Mars.
MRO Mars probe from NASA, which actually began its science mission in November 2006, has already sent to Earth in a few months, nearly 8 terabytes of data, as far as MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) in nine years of observation. With all this technology onboard, the probe MRO has encountered some difficulties with its instruments. Half of the sensors of the HiRISE camera (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) are indeed abnormal levels of noise but have little impact on image quality.
The second instrument, the Mars Climate Sounder, which is responsible for scanning the Martian atmosphere above the horizon, meanwhile has problems of timing his field of vision. The probe, whose scientific objectives are multiple, will select potential landing sites for future missions.
She will play the role of high-speed relay for future probes to Mars. The probe serves as a network of communication and navigation for the rovers and landers present in soil. The total cost of the probe is estimated at 720 million.

Image: Artist Image MRO© Mylène Simoès, Art Director.

 probe MRO Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Avalanche on Mars as seen by MRO

    

What caused this sudden avalanche of dust on Mars?
Digital image shown cons, you can see several layers of white ice and on the right, the rock indicates that the red Martian soil with a mixture of rock and ice.
On the cliff of over 700 meters high in thawing the ice fall on the floor of which rise thick plumes of dust. The slope has an angle greater than 60 degrees.
The whole scene is illuminated by the Sun than we guess the upper right of the image.
The thaw occurs each spring in the northern hemisphere of Mars, a Martian year, or sidereal period, lasts 686.960 days (1.93 years).
Climate warming causes the melting of ice and carbon dioxide sublimates directly into vapor.

 

Image: High definition image taken in February 2008 by the HiRISE instrument probe MRO reveals a surprising avalanche on the soil of Mars. A cloud of dust rolling down the slopes of the Martian terrain.
Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

 Avalanche on Mars as seen by MRO

The red dust of Mars

    

Where do these tattoos on Mars?
High-definition image taking by the HiRISE instrument probe MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) reveals some surprising brands on the soil of Mars.
The dust swirls above the highlights of the Martian terrain. The Martian riddle size, has been resolved.
The researchers realized that these were small atmospheric vortices that occur frequently on the red planet.
These dust devils are called "eturbules" "in our campaigns. The dust devils are visible when they raise sufficient amounts of dust. We see mostly in the deserts during heat waves.
These frequent air columns begin to rotate and rise under the effect of heat from the Earth's surface.

 

On Mars, the red dust sucked from the soil consists of sand darker contrasting with the light color of the surface. Dust Devils of the red planet may reach 8 km in height. By scanning the surface of regular solar modules from Martian rovers, they had the unexpected effect of prolonging the duration of Spirit and Opportunity, which now moves on Mars for nearly 6 years..

Image: High-definition image taking by the HiRISE instrument probe MRO reveals surprising marks on the surface of Mars.
The dust swirls above the highlights of the Martian terrain. Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

 The red dust of Mars

Deimos, moon of Mars as seen by the probe MRO

    

Deimos, shown cons, the smaller of the two moons of Mars was photographed Feb. 21, 2009 by the U.S. probe MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter).
The U.S. probe, launched August 12, 2005 from Cape Canaveral base in Florida, helping to enrich our knowledge about Mars, as the history of its water, its climate or its basement.
She also sends us from time to time, beautiful photos of Phobos and Deimos its satellites.
Deimos is oval shaped and not spherical, more like a misshapen asteroid. This small moon of Mars from a few kilometers wide (15 × 12 × 10.4 km), appears to be completely smooth and very little cratered. This is due to its small size and the layer 100 meters thick of pulverized rock, that covers it.
The orbital period of the little moon is 1.26244 days, which means it goes around Mars in 1 day, 6 hours, 17 minutes and 54 seconds.

 

Image: Deimos is the smaller of two satellites of Mars.
These two views above cons were taken February 21, 2009, by the HiRISE camera (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Deimos is not spherical, its dimensions are irregular, 15 × 12 × 10.4 km.
The photograph shows a clear surface cons but in reality, its very dark reddish black surface has an albedo of 0.07.
Deimos has a smooth surface because the layer of regolith (fine particles ejected during meteorite impacts), which covers its surface with the exception of the more recent impact craters.
This item, with darker shades of red, like Mars and Phobos, the other moon of Mars.
Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona. The resolution is 20 meters per pixel.

 Deimos, moon of Mars as seen by the probe MRO

Phobos, moon of Mars as seen by the probe MRO

    

Phobos, the larger (27 × 21 × 18 km) of the two moons of Mars is made of ice rocks, rich in carbon. Phobos is peppered with impact craters like all terrestrial objects in the solar system.
Phobos is doomed because its orbit is below synchronous altitude, the tidal forces gradually decrease its orbital radius of 1.8 meters per century.
In about 40 million years, it will break to form a ring around Mars or it will crash on its surface.
The crater Stickney of 9 km in diameter, is the largest crater of the Martian moon.
He was named in honor of Chloe Angeline Stickney Hall, mathematician and astronomer woman who Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars August 12, 1877.
The crater Stickney is nearly half the diameter of Phobos.

 

Despite the low gravity (0.005 m/s²) of Phobos, one can guess that the material of the meteorite that struck Phobos, slid slowly slopes of the crater walls.

Image:  Stickney Crater, pictured, measures more than 9 km in diameter (about half the diameter of Phobos), Stickney is so great that this impact could completely disintegrate the small moon of Mars.
This beautiful image of Stickney and the surrounding area, was taken by the HiRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and 6000 km from Phobos.

 sticney crater on Phobos moon of Mars
 
           
 
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