Unsung hero: NASA Orbiter spends decade circling Mars 40,000 times The Space Reporter

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter completed its 40,000th orbit of the planet of February 7.
The orbiter has orbited the planet for the last 9 years, well beyond the two-year scope for its original mission. During that time its has sent 247 terabits of data about Mars atmosphere, surface and subsurface of Mars. That’s more than all other vessels that has visited other planets combined.
MRO circles the planet around 12 times a day, crossing near the poles at a height of 186 miles above the surface. Among its other impressive feats, there’s also the fact that the orbiter has traveled nearly twice as far in circling Mars 40,000 times than it did getting to Mars.
The data provided by the orbiter’s 40,000 and counting passes paints a picture of Mars’ evolution. Observations of the planets oldest craters by the MRO found minerals indicative of long-gone bodies of water. Passes of the poles found evidence of water moving around the planet as a gas, traveling between polar ice caps and ice deposits further down.

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