Artist's impression of Mars 96 Orbiter surveying

Artist's impression of Mars 96 Orbiter surveying

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This image is part of the feature Back To Mars

Credit: DAVID DUCROS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars 96 Orbiter. Artist's impression of the Mars 96 Orbiter spacecraft surveying the surface of the 'red planet'. The Orbiter carries 12 instruments for studying the Martian surface and atmosphere, 7 instruments for studying the charged particles (plasma) around the planet which come from the Sun and 3 instruments for astrophysical studies. The Orbiter will also act as a relay station between Earth and modules which have landed on Mars' surface as part of the same mission. The Orbiter is due to be launched in November 1996 by the Russians. Arriving at Mars about 300 days later, the Orbiter will operate in orbit for about a year.

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Keywords: artwork, exploration, mars, mars 96, mars exploration, mars orbiter, martian, orbiter, planet, planetary, russian mars mission, spacecraft

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