Credit & Copyright: Courtesy NASAExplanation: Looking down from atop a Delta II rocket blasting skyward, solid fuel boosters fall away (left) and the Earth's limb slides into view. These pictures from the launch of the Mars Climate Orbiter were taken as it climbed away from Cape Canaveral Air Station Space Launch Complex 17 on December 11. This spacecraft won't arrive at Mars in time for Christmas though, as its cruise to the red planet will require about 9 1/2 Earth months to complete. Once it does get there it will use aerobraking to help establish a polar science mapping orbit for studying the martian atmosphere. The orbiter is also scheduled to act as a communications relay for the soon to be launched Mars Polar Lander.
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Publications with keywords: Mars - spacecraft - rocket
Publications with words: Mars - spacecraft - rocket