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Mars Orbiter Begins Sending Photos


A U.S.-launched spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars has begun sending back some of the most finely detailed pictures ever of the surface of the so-called red planet.

The U.S. space agency, NASA, announced Friday that images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have begun arriving. They show rocks and features as small as armchairs on the planet's surface.

The craft is particularly close to the planet's surface during this point in its orbit, giving scientists extra help in their hunt for surface details that may indicate the presence of water sometime in the past. Scientists theorize that water may have made it possible for Mars to sustain life.

This spacecraft began orbiting Mars in March. Scientists say it will return more data about the planet than all past Mars missions combined.

Some information for this report provided by AP.