Fueled for Flight
Looking like something out of a science fiction movie, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team loaded 1,196 kilograms (2,637 pounds) of fuel onto the vehicle in one of the final steps before launch.
Engineers and technicians in SCAPE suits (Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble) loaded 1,196 kilograms (2,637 pounds) of high-purity hydrazine, bringing the spacecraft up to its flight mass of 2,180 kilograms (4,806 pounds). For safety reasons, photographers were not allowed in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center during fueling. The pictured technicians, in similar fueling gear, were suiting up to fuel the Deep Impact spacecraft in December 2004.
The orbiter is currently undergoing two final days of electrical testing. On Thursday, July 21, the final inspection will take place and the spacecraft will be mated to the launch vehicle adapter on Friday.