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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is Off to Mars!

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is Off to Mars!

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off this morning from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Hundreds of onlookers including the science and engineering teams' families cheered from a safe distance at Kennedy Space Center.  The launch is the culmination of over five years of planning, assembling and testing.  The orbiter now faces a challenging seven-month journey to Mars.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission marks the next generation of Mars exploration.  The spacecraft's powerful instruments will provide unprecedented data from the red planet, tracing the history of water on the planet with spectrometers and high-resolution images and surveying for future landing sites.  

Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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