NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter changing its orbit around Mars using aerobraking, computer artwork. Initially the orbiter will have an elongated elliptical orbit. It is intended that it will use atmospheric friction to flatten this into a more circular shape. The orbiter, which is planned to be launched in August 2005, will have multiple uses: to observe Mars, to search for future landing sites, and to provide a communications relay point for future surface missions.
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