Just Released New Images of Mars by NASA

Just Released New Images of Mars by NASA.

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Credit: Canadian Space Agency (Click Image to Enlarge)

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched August 12, 2005, was on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water flowed across the surface in Mars’ history, it remains a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life. After a seven-month cruise to Mars and six months of aerobraking to reach its science orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter commenced its survey. They zoomed in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyzed minerals, looked for subsurface water, traced how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitored daily global weather.

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In its survey of the red planet, Mars Reconnaissance increased tenfold the number of spots surveyed close-up. One of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s cameras was the largest ever flown on a planetary mission and able to spot something as small as a dinner table. Its imaging spectrometer looked at small-scale areas about five times smaller than a football field, at a scale perfect for identifying any hot springs or other small water features. It also tested the use of a radio frequency called Ka-band,which demonstrated the potential for greater performance in communications using significantly less power. The orbiter’s primary mission ended about five-and-a-half years after launch, on December 31, 2010.

These are a few of over a thousand high quality photographs that were recently released by NASA.

Credit: NASA

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