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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Sights Wreckage of Unknown Spacecraft

04/01/2006 2:04 AM

(Dateline Houston 2006.04.01) The first test images returned by the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have resulted in a dramatic discovery. Although the Orbiter is still at very high altitude over the planet, NASA scientists testing the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera have observed what appear to be metallic debris scattered on the Martian surface in a small area of the Valles Marineris region. An investigation of Mars mission records shows that no known spacecraft landed or was lost in the vicinity where the images were recorded. Unfortunately the images are not clear due to the spacecraft's altitude.

According to project cosmologist Al Ensten "We're at about nine times the range planned for our primary mission, so our best resolution is about eight feet per pixel. At this resolution we just can't see much detail."

Scientists are now eagerly awaiting completion of the six-month long aerobraking maneuver that will lower the MRO to its final orbit where higher resolution images of the anomalous objects can be obtained.

"When we get down lower we'll get a better look at whatever's there. That should throw some light on things," said Project engineer Tom Edson. NASA has released the raw images of the anomaly.

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Anonymous Poster
#1

It's not the Polar Explorer!

04/03/2006 10:50 AM

Well, we know it can't be the Mars Polar Explorer because we saw it for sale on eBay a few days after NASA lost it.

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The Feature Creep

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#2

Enterprise

04/03/2006 2:57 PM

I wonder if they had the same metric/english problem that most of the spacecraft that smack into Mars have.

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The Engineer
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#3
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Re:Enterprise

04/03/2006 5:50 PM

Judging from that photo of the wreckage on the surface of Mars, Scotty is not happy right now.

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