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Spacecraft and Instruments

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Atmospheric Structure Investigation Accelerometers
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in its aerobraking stage Image above: The atmospheric structure investigation will gain information from how the speed of the spacecraft changes due to friction with the atmosphere during aerobraking. Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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The data from the engineering accelerometer will be used to determine the atmospheric density at the altitude of the spacecraft.

This information in turn provides information on coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere, and variations in seasonal winds and the effects of dust storms on the atmospheric density.

The Principal Investigator (lead scientist) is Gerry Keating from George Washington University and the co-Investigator is Steve Bougher from the University of Michigan.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

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