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MRO Deputy Project Scientist Answers Your Questions
 
Sue Smrekar, Deputy Project Scientist
Dr. Sue Smrekar
MRO Deputy Project Scientist





All videos are provided in Real Player format and are Closed Captioned

1. Our first question comes from Patrick, and he's eight years old and he's from Tulford. Why is it so important that the rocket has to be launched within just two hours on Aug. 10? What does it mean when you say that Mars is in opposition to Earth?
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2. Our next question comes from Pawan from Sharjah. If the spacecraft fails to slow down to some malfunctioning, what are the backup plans of the scientists for this problem, or, if the spacecraft can not be captured into orbit around Mars?
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3. Mary from White Plains: Can you explain how the six months of aerobraking works and why it's necessary?
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4. Victoria from Mount Vernon: What keeps the satellite's solar panels from burning up?
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5. Pawan from Sharjah asked us, what type of orbit will MRO be sent into once it reaches the Red Planet? Also, will it be used as a link by the MER-A and MER-B for sending data?
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6. Our next question comes from Palak from Chicago. How will the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter find out about the ground's chemical components from orbit?
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7. Pawan from Sharjah: The spectrometers on MER-A and B split the visible light into many colors which identify minerals. How is the spectrometer on the MRO different from the ones on the two rovers?
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8. Pawan also has another question. Could you explain more about the experimental navigation camera and how it is different from the other cameras that the MRO is carrying?
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9. Our next question comes from Juan from Gijon and he says hello, and he asks: How, have you considered taking pictures of the pathfinder Viking and MER landing sites? What about lost Martian probes like the Polar, Mars Polar Lander, or Beagle-2?
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10. Justin from Falmouth. He asked, what will be the MRO's first science mission after achieving orbit around the planet? Also, he asked, how long will it be before you receive any observations from the MRO when it arrives at Mars?
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11. Our next question comes from Junichi from Niihama City. Since the atmosphere of Mars is not very dense, is MRO going to observe the surface of Mars in high-resolution pictures, especially over the poles?
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12. Judy from Athol: On August 27, the Earth will be as close to Mars as it ever gets. Earth will not be this close again until the year 2287. How much travel time will this save compared to other launches? Also, and will the pictures sent be clearer because of its nearness?
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13. Ifikratis from Athens: Are there any concerns for the deploying of the SHARAD radar as there were for the Mars Express MARSIS? Also, I would like to know if the SHARAD would be better in terms of depth and quality measurements than the Mars Express Orbiter.
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14. Elias from Sao Paulo: Can you explain how the sounder that is among the instruments of the MRO works? Also, how can it find or look for subsurface waters in Mars?
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15. Jeanette from Kane: Since one MRO objective is to search for and find a location suitable for future human exploration, what requirements or characteristics would such a site meet??
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16. Aren from Vermont: The twin Mars rovers are exploring only two of what I assume are several potential future sites. Is there already a long list of sites for MRO to scout, and if so, how will this spacecraft help you narrow down that list?
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NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center