Friday, March 10, 2006

The Martian Telescope Arrives

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is go for orbit insertion in three hours. Here is the timeline (Pacific Time Zone) of events...

12:49 p.m. - Step One: Pressurize
1:03 p.m. - Step Two: Switch to Low-gain Antenna
1:07 p.m. - Step Three: Turn spacecraft
1:24 p.m. - Step Four: Commence Firing for Orbit Insertion
1:46 p.m. - Step Five: Bye For Now, MRO!
1:51 p.m. - Step Six: Burn Ends
2:16 p.m. - Step Seven: Hello Again, MRO!
2:30 p.m. - Step Eight: Check Health and Status

(More details on the events are here.)

The entire process of orbit insertion will be monitored by NASA using doppler radar. You can get to the real-time radar feed here.

It'll be a few months before full-fledged images start arriving - but some early test images will show up sooner. Top Men will keep you updated.

UPDATE (2:26 p.m.): Orbit insertion successful! Welcome to Mars, MRO.

Previous related Wohba links:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter


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