All Three NASA Mars Orbiters Healthy After Comet Flyby

This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them from comet dust from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their “duck and cover” maneuver to shield them from comet dust from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA/JPL-Caltech

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet.

Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter all are part of a campaign to study comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring and possible effects on the Martian atmosphere from gases and dust released by the comet. The comet sped past Mars today much closer than any other know comet flyby of a planet.

Additional information about the precautions and observations by each of the three orbiters is at:

› Mars Odyssey mission status report

The longest-lived robot ever sent to Mars came through its latest challenge in good health, reporting home on schedule after sheltering behind Mars from possible comet dust.

Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

› Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission status report

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has sent home more data about Mars than all other missions combined, is also now providing data about a comet that buzzed The Red Planet today (Oct. 19).

Artist's concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

› MAVEN mission status report

NASA’s newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars and is studying the flyby’s effects on the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Artist's concept of the MAVEN Mars orbiter spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s concept of the MAVEN Mars orbiter spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For more information about comet Siding Spring and the investigations of its Mars flyby, visit:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/

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