Another Step in Mars Exploration:The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at Mars

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2006

Mat Kaplan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

The Planetary Society, an education outreach partner with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission team, congratulates the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the successful orbit insertion this afternoon.

Louis Friedman, the Society's Executive Director said, "Three orbiters now at Mars that's a first for any organization. Congratulations, JPL!" He added, "MRO has some exciting days ahead of it, aerobraking into its final orbit, but getting there was half the battle and we look forward to a great mission."

MRO will give the highest resolution images of the surface of Mars, seeing objects down to tens of centimeters in size. It will give a whole new look at the composition of the surface using the near infrared, and it will study the subsurface with radar.

Also, the Mars Climate Sounder instrument will perform the first long-term three-dimensional study of the key properties of the Martian atmosphere, including dust, clouds, water, pressure, and temperature. The Planetary Society, an education outreach partner on Mars Climate Sounder, has created the website for the instrument, providing the public with a wealth of accessible information about its findings.

"Every new look at Mars has been full of surprises," said Friedman. "We are slowly building a picture of a new world for humankind."

About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.