"It's time we start peeling back the onion layer and start looking at Mars from different vantage points," said project manager James Graf of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.The primary mission of the orbiter ends in 2010 but researchers say the craft has enough fuel to last until 2014. More details at WashingtonPost.
Like the three current spacecraft flying around Mars _ including a European orbiter _ the latest probe will seek evidence of water and other signs that the planet could have hosted life. The $720 million mission, which launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., will also serve as a communications link to relay data to Earth.
NASA preparing to launch Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Wednesday
Posted on Monday, August 08 2005 @ 3:09 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck