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All Three NASA Mars Orbiters Healthy After Comet Flyby

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Posted October 20, 2014

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet.

This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them from comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their “duck and cover” maneuver to shield them from comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter all are part of a campaign to study comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring and possible effects on the Martian atmosphere from gases and dust released by the comet. The comet sped past Mars today much closer than any other know comet flyby of a planet.

Additional information about the precautions and observations by each of the three orbiters is here, also here and here, for Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and MAVEN, respectively.

For more information about comet Siding Spring and the investigations of its Mars flyby, visit: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/

Source: NASA

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