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

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit