• This Mars 2022 orbiter may use experimental technologies such as high-power solar-electric propulsion or an optical communications package that could greatly improve transmission speed and capacity over radio frequency systems .
  • The 2022 probe, which is needed to upgrade NASA’s aging Mars telecommunications network, also will have a “robust” science component. The orbiter will carry remote sensing instruments of some kind, although there has apparently been no discussion yet about their specifications.
  • Currently, NASA leans heavily on the 13-year-old Mars Odyssey orbiter to relay data collected by the landers and rovers on Mars to Earth.

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