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The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will be launched in August 2005 by an intermediate-class, expendable launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Station, USA. It will deliver to Mars orbit a payload to conduct remote sensing science observations, characterize sites for future landers, and provide critical telecom/navigation relay capability for follow-on missions. The mission is designed to provide both global and targeted observations from a low 200 by 400 km Mars orbit with a 3:00 P.M. local mean solar time ascending node. During the one Martian year (687 Earth days) primary science phase, the orbiter will acquire visual and infrared high-resolution images of the planet's surface. After this science phase is completed, the orbiter will provide telecommunications support for spacecraft launched to Mars in the 2007 and 2009 opportunities. The primary mission ends on December 31, 2010, approximately 5.5 years after launch.