Science

NASA’s Mars Orbiter Will Continue Working For Another Ten Years

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of NASA which was launched in 2006 will continue its work for another ten years. The reason behind it is there is no planning of other Mars Orbiter to launch which will be capable of work like the MRO; as MRO which combine a high level of mapping and telecommunication between the Earth and Mars from a very low-level orbit.

NASA now wants to bring the collected rock samples from Mars and it could take a time for ten more years which also can reduce the fund for other Mars missions. The fund allotted to the robotic Mars exploration program of NASA will shift to a sample return operation. A traveler set will be launched in 2020 for collecting core samples of three dozen Martian rocks. The mobile robot is currently roaming on the Mars and throws the samples at a catching position so that the samples can be collected and brought back to earth.

Mars Orbiter
By NASA/JPL/Corby Waste [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The deputy project scientist of the MRO mission Leslie Tamppari said that the scientists have to be well up to 2027 and at the same time the spacecraft has to be taken care of as it is aging and the power requirement of the batteries have to be reduced.

The MRO was made by the scientist Lockheed Martin, launched in early part of the year 2006 and the MRO was made for five years only. As per The old batteries, navigation system and the gyroscope have to be taken care properly in coming years to run the mission successfully as they degraded to some extent.

The batteries of the MRO were charged into the sunlight at the daytime and at the night time the phone batteries were used for charging. Recently more charging and frequent charging of the engine batteries are needed and scientist told that MRO to reduce the use of batteries at night.

Ground controllers told them to add ‘all stellar’ navigation in March so that it can be pointed out where it is going. The adjustment of orbit for MRO also can be done as travelers will reach there in 2018 and 2021. Tamppari said that the MRO has still 400 pounds i.e. 200 kilograms of rocket fuel which is enough to keep up the orbiter active in the 2020s.

The mobile robot mission for collecting rock samples from Mars and bring back to earth is quite more important than any other mission of NASA and this project is going to launch in the 2020s.