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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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MISSION

Launch Configuration

Because the spacecraft had to fit within the nose cone, or payload fairing, during launch, large parts like the high-gain antenna and the solar arrays were designed to be folded up. As soon as the launch vehicle put the spacecraft on course to leave Earth orbit for its journey to Mars, it disconnected itself from the spacecraft.

For more information on what happened during this phase of the mission, see the launch section in the Mission Timeline.

Launch Configuration
Launch Configuration

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