Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL Earth JPL Solar System JPL Stars and Galaxies JPL Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology MRO Home NASA Home Page Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Follow this link to skip to the main content
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
+ NASA Homepage
+ NASA en Español
+ Marte en Español
Go Search
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Overview Science Technology The Mission People Features Events Multimedia
+ Mars Home
+ MRO Home
The Mission
Orbiter Update
Where is MRO now?
Mission Team
Launch Vehicle
Spacecraft Configurations
Spacecraft Parts
Mission Timeline
Communications with Earth
Spacecraft Summary

This graphic illustrates how much bigger the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is than the previous two Mars orbiters: Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a massive and capable spacecraft; it dwarfs its predecessors, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter uses a new spacecraft design provided by Lockheed Martin Space Systems that is smarter, more reliable, more agile, and more productive than any previous Mars orbiter. It is the first spacecraft designed from the ground up for aerobraking, a rigorous phase of the mission where the orbiter uses the friction of the martian atmosphere to slow down in order to settle into its final orbit around Mars.

When fully assembled and fueled, the spacecraft cannot weigh more than 2,180 kilograms (4,806 pounds) or the Atlas V launch vehicle will not be able to lift it into the proper orbit. All subsystems and instruments on board (the so-called "dry mass") must weigh less than 1,031 kilograms (2,273 pounds) to allow room for 1,149 kilograms (2,533 pounds) of propellant for trajectory correction maneuvers that keep the spacecraft on target during the cruise to Mars and for burns that help capture the spacecraft into orbit around Mars.

Spacecraft Configurations: what the spacecraft will look like during various phases of the mission
Major Parts of the Spacecraft: what the spacecraft carries onboard to function, communicate, and explore
Credits Feedback Related Links Sitemap