NASA Orbiter Enter Mars Orbit

By: AP
By: AP
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A NASA spacecraft with ties to Colorado is now in orbit around the Red Planet.

A seven-month, 310 million-mile journey ended Friday for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or M-R-O, which is now on a mission to study the planet in unprecedented detail.

NASA engineers had warned that slipping into orbit was the riskiest part of the $720 million mission, but a successful entry was reported about 3:30 Friday afternoon.

Littleton-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems built the orbiter, along with the Atlas Five rocket that carried it into space.

Ball Aerospace of Boulder constructed the on-board camera.

The M-R-O launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida last August.

It's now expected to circle Mars for at least the next four years.

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