NASA spacecraft enters Mars orbit - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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NASA spacecraft enters Mars orbit

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PASADENA, Calif. - NASA says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has succeeded in entering orbit around the Red Planet. 

It took just the right pressure from slamming on the brakes and putting on the gas. NASA's most sophisticated planetary observer ever is orbiting Mars, ready to train its $720 million photographic eye on the Red Planet's surface.

Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California cheered when the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reappeared from behind the planet, and a planned blackout. But it took a while longer before they learned that the proper flight path had been achieved.

Mission controllers have waited seven months for the spacecraft to fly close enough to prepare for circling around the planet. One project manager called the planned wait exciting, but "nerve-racking."

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