Ten years ago, the Mars Exploration Orbiter, launched on a special mission: to provide regular high-quality images of the Red Planet. From this point on, a lot of amazing events happened: a spacecraft descending under parachutes, rovers on the surface and even dust devils. Here are some of the best photos:
Landing Curiosity (2012)
NASA and the University of Arizona (which manages HiRISE) are accustomed to precise operations. This was effectively demonstrated on August 5, 2012, when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. The camera managed to capture the rover, safely parachuting to the surface of the Red Planet, starting a mission in the Gale crater, which continues today. Earlier in 2008, HiRISE also caught the sight of the descending Phoenix under parachute.
Comet Siding Spring (2014)
Several Mars spaceships were monitored when Comet C / 2013 A1C Siding Spring was in the balance of the Red Planet. This series of images from the MRO, which was taken on October 19, 2014, was acquired as closely as possible: 86, 000 miles (138, 000 kilometers) from the core. It is very close at astronomical distances, the equivalent of one third of the way from Earth to the Moon.
Lost Beagle found (2015)
Twelve years after the Beagle reached the Red Planet, the MRO spotted a long-lost spacecraft (which stopped communicating during landing). The image shows that the Beagle got to the surface and partially deployed solar panels.
Satellite Phobos (2008)
While the main goal of the MRO is Mars, they accidentally saw the satellites of the planet (Phobos and Deimos). This happened on March 25, 2008. In the image, you can see the Big Stick crater, as well as a bunch of gutter and crater chains, which probably have nothing to do with the crater Stickney created. Mars gravity is expected to break Phobos in about 100 million years.
Damage to the Phoenix spacecraft
NASA’s Phoenix ship landing on the surface was expected to hold out for three months on the surface after landing in May 2008, but actually lasted about five months. Then the spacecraft subsided as the influence of sunlight diminished during the winter. NASA continued to attempt to communicate with the spacecraft before it was damaged, which is shown in the 2010 MRO image. It is estimated that the solar panels of the spacecraft broke down after hundreds of pounds of ice from carbon dioxide covered the spacecraft.
Ice Dunes (2008)
This image shows a fairly common feature on Mars, known as the dunes of Barkhan, which form when the winds blow in one direction. This gives researchers an idea of which winds dominated when these formations were formed. MROs are able to track seasonal changes in the dunes, such as these, which are near the North Pole and frozen in winter.
Paths of the rover (2008)
Look at the brown spots on the right side of this image, then move your gaze to the left until you see small gray dots. These are traces of the OPPORTUNITY rover on the surface, near the Victoria crater. This picture was taken by the MRO within a few weeks after arriving on Mars on October 3, 2006. If you look closely to the left of the OPPORTUNITY rover trails and just below, you will notice its traces. The spacecraft also regularly checks the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.
Dust storm (2012)
Although the MRO is in orbit around the planet, it can identify fairly small features on the surface of Mars — such as solar heat that stimulates a dusty tornado. Scientists estimate that this dust storm is over 800 meters high and about 30 meters in diameter. He was seen at the end of the day in the north of the planet.
Liquid water? (2014)
This image of the Coprates Chasma region is a clear example of the recurring, oblique origin of water, which scientists believe, and may indicate flowing liquid water on Mars. While the atmosphere of the Red Planet is believed to be too thin for the permanent existence of water, the melting of ice could create temporary streams of water that leave these dark traces.
New Crater (2013)
One of the advantages of the MRO orbiter, which has been on Mars for a long time, is that it can track changes, such as this 100-foot (30-meter) crater, which appeared only recently. It was formed somewhere between July 2010 and May 2012.