Mars Telecommunications Orbiter Canceled

According to NasaWatch, the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter project has been canceled.


(Mars Telecommunications Orbiter [NASA concept art])

The Mars Telecommunication Orbiter would have been the first interplanetary spacecraft whose main mission is to provide communications services to other missions. It was to orbit Mars at a higher altitude than most orbiters, about 2,800 miles above the Martian surface, to provide an enhanced line of site to Earth. Order-of-magnitude improvements were expected in transmission speed.

It looks like the advanced thinking of engineer and science fiction writer George O. Smith will have to wait a while longer to become reality. His Venus Equilateral Relay Station stories, written in the early 1940's, foresaw the need for better communication throughout the inner solar system.

Read more details about the Mars Telecommunication Orbiter. Thanks to an alert reader for the tip; thanks to NasaWatch for keeping tabs.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/25/2005)

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