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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to Launch Tomorrow

With all the news about Discovery landing successfully, people may not be aware that NASA has a launch planned for tomorrow. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is set to lift off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on an Atlas V launch vehicle. Information on the launch can be found here.

From a NASA press release: "The mission's first launch opportunity window is 7:54 to 9:39 a.m. EDT, Wednesday. If the launch is postponed, additional launch windows open daily at different times each morning through August. For trips from Earth to Mars, the planets move into good position for only a short period every 26 months. The best launch position is when Earth is about to overtake Mars in their concentric racing lanes around the sun."

Starting in November 2006, the MRO will gather data on the history and distribution of Martian water.

Let's not forget all the other important stuff NASA is doing...
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Cool. Thanks for the heads-up. I really need to keep better track of NASA. Then again, I'm not exactly writing hard SF...
You don't have to be writing hard SF to want to know what NASA's up to... (I consider these posts something of a public service.)
Thanks! Yes, Discovery stuff has shouted down all else for me today (woo hoo!) but I'm excited about the Mars stuff too.

Hopefully I can catch this on Nasa tv on the web tomorrow morning before work.
They've announced that they are postponing the launch until Thursday:

"The launch of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been postponed 24 hours. The new launch window is Thursday, August 11 from 7:50 to 9:35 a.m. EDT.

The launch was postponed due to a failure of a Redundant Rate Gyro Unit (RRGU) at the manufacturer. This unit is similar to two RRGU's that are part of the flight control system on the Atlas V launch vehicle at Launch Complex 41 at Kennedy Space Center, Fla."

Let's not forget all the other important stuff NASA is doing...

Indeed! Like the two Martian Rovers, still up and about waaaaay after their estimated 90-day lifespans...

December 2016

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