10 Years in Martian Orbit for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Yesterday marked a decade since Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) went into orbit around the Red Planet. A few months later science observations commenced, and since then the mission has been studying the Martian surface and atmosphere. We use MRO data on both Planet Four (HiRISE [HIgh Resolution Imaging Science Experiment] images) and Planet Four: Terrains (Context Camera [CTX]  images). Thanks to the contributions of those at NASA and the instrument teams (including engineers, scientists, software programmers, and other operations support  team members) who make these observations happen and keep the spacecraft and its suite of instruments happy and healthy.

With 10 Earth years (or ~5 Mars years) of observations, we can look for long term changes in the geyser formation process, and this summer we’ll be pointing HiRISE to new regions of the South Pole thanks to the contributions from Planet  Four: Terrains volunteers for monitoring for several more Mars years.

Below is a highlight reel compiled by NASA of MRO’s greatest science hits and images over the last decade.

There have been so many iconic moments from the MRO’s mission, but I think two moments are HIRISE capturing the descent stage of the the Curiosity rover with the parachute and the parachute of the Phoenix lander several years before.

Image Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona http://www.uahirise.org/releases/msl-descent.php

HiRISE captures the descent of NASA’s Curiosity rover Image Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona http://www.uahirise.org/releases/msl-descent.php

 

Image Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Parachute of the Phoenix lander snapped by HiRISE during the entry, landing, and descent of the polar lander – Image Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona – original image

Happy Anniversary MRO! – Here’s to the next decade around Mars! Celebrate by classifying a few images on Planet Four and Planet Four: Terrains

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