Red Planet Bound: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

The next spacecraft destined for Mars is rapidly coming together here on Earth — an interplanetary probe that carries the most powerful instruments ever sent to the red planet.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO for short, is being readied for sendoff next year. The huge spacecraft carries a suite of instruments, including a camera system able to provide ultra-close-up images of Mars’ surface, and a sounder to probe for water that might linger subsurface on the planet.