Thursday, August 11, 2005
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
The largest spacecraft ever sent to Mars blasts off from Cape Canaveral today. The Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter's mission is to study the history of water on the Martian surface and also to find possible landing sites for future missions.
A side-mission is to discover, if possible, the fate of the ill-fated Beagle 2 probe that slammed into the Red Planet in 2003. If the imaging systems on MRO are so good that a lost probe can be found, then I hope that it will be used to photograph areas of interest to us 'nutty' people, such as the Cydonia Face, the D&M Pyramid and other areas that suggest that there may have once been intelligent life on Mars.
The Cydonia Face
The D&M Pyramid
Launch scrubbed until 12th August due to a fuel sensor problem... Having a lot of fuel sensor problems lately, aren't they?
The probe was launched today (12th August) and will arrive at Mars in seven months.