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Sammy Stancer

on 14 October 2014

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What is a Planetary Orbiter?
A planetary orbiter is a spacecraft that orbits a planet or another celestial body.
Pros and Cons
-orbiters get amazing high definition pictures of space that us humans could never get from Earth
- orbiters continue to circle planets and track changes in their appearance
- Orbiters don't last very long so we keep sending orbiters out to space which coasts a lot of money
- if an orbiter gets too close to the planet it can be harmed by the gases and extreme temperatures
Mariner 9
Mariner 9 was launched on May 30, 1971. 5 months later it went into orbit with Mars. But when Mariner got to Mars, there was a great global dust storm happening that obscured Mariner's view. Luckily the storm subsided a year after Mariner got to Mars. Mariner transmitted over 7,000 pictures of the surface of Mars.
Galileo orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. Galileo studied the Gas Giant and its moons in more detail than any previous Orbiter. Galileo helped find out multiple facts about Jupiter and its moons. In 2003 Galileo plunged into the crushing pressure of Jupiter's Atmosphere.
Recent Missions
The most recent Planetary orbiter to go into space is called "Maven". It was sent to space on September 21, 2014. It orbits Mars and was sent to answer questions about the carbon dioxide and water on Mars.
Upcoming Missions
There is a plan called BepiColombo mission that is working towards launching an orbiter into space sometime in August 2015. The European Space Agency and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency are working together for this mission. This orbiter will study Mercury's surface and internal composition. This orbiter is also being sent to search for more water and ice on Mercury.
Mars Global Surveyor
The Mars Global Surveyor launched on November 7, 1996. Over the course of 1 year and 322 days (one martian year) the orbiter was to preform a comprehensive study of Mars. Over the amount of time the orbiter was studying Mars, it took over 80,000 images. These images revealed water on mars.
By: Cammi, Sammy, Maddie, Elyssa
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