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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Celebration
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Celebration (click to enlarge)
 
 

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Celebration
Date: 10 Mar 2006

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Manager James Graf hugs Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, after hearing confirmation is spacecraft entered orbit at Mars.

Signals received from the spacecraft at 2:16 p.m. Pacific Time after it emerged from its first pass behind Mars set off cheers and applause in control rooms at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

The spacecraft traveled about 500 million kilometers (310 million miles) to reach Mars after its launch from Florida on Aug. 12, 2005. It needed to use its main thrusters as it neared the planet in order to slow itself enough for Mars' gravity to capture it. The thruster firing began while the spacecraft was still in radio contact with Earth, but needed to end during a tense half hour of radio silence while the spacecraft flew behind Mars.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



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