Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission was successfully launched on August 12, 2005 and entered orbit around Mars on March 10, 2006. The primary science phase of the mission began in October 2006 and is scheduled to last one Mars year (approximately two Earth years). During this time, the The MRO mission will investigate global atmospheric transport processes, conduct globally distributed observations of aqueous sediments and hydrological process indicators, and collect high-resolution imagery of the surface of Mars. After the primary science phase ends, the MRO spacecraft will provide approach-navigation and relay-communications support to future Mars missions.
The MRO mission is classified Category III for planetary protection purposes, and precautions will be taken to prevent inadvertent entry into the Martian atmosphere.