Artist's concept showing NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet
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.
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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 known comet flyby of Mars or Earth.

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

› Mars Odyssey mission status report

› Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission status report

› MAVEN mission status report

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

News Media Contact

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Nancy Jones / Bill Steigerwald
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
301-286-0039 / 301-286-5017 /