Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter By the Numbers
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Week in Geek: Martian decade edition

Updated

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter just celebrated its tenth anniversary at the Red Planet.

MRO has been orbiting Mars since early 2006 when it began mapping the planet’s surface in detail in order to identify and characterize landing sites for future missions. The workhorse instrument on-board MRO is the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. HiRISE has a resolution of 0.3 meters per pixel which allows it to resolve objects on Mars less than a meter across from an altitude of over 150 miles.

Light-Toned Layered Material in North Meridiani Planum

As you can imagine, HiRISE is has captured some spectacular sights, some of which NASA has compiled in a video marking the mission’s first decade. Do yourself a favor and watch it full screen. And if that isn’t enough awesome for you, browse the full HiRISE image archive on Flickr.

In addition to these stunning images, instruments aboard MRO have uncovered more and more about what Mars was like in the past and how it continues to evolve to this day. Findings include diverse water environments, water and carbon dioxide cycles, seasonal brine seepage. If you thought Mars was dead and boring, think again.

Here’s some more geek from the week:

Keep on geeking!

@Summer_Ash, In-house Astrophysicist

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Week in Geek: Martian decade edition

Updated