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HiRise high-resolution camera set to depart for Mars

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High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRise)

The acronym-riffic HiRise (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera is ready to depart for Mars Wednesday aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  The camera should deliver the highest-resolution images of Mars yet — 20,000 pixels by 40,000 lines to be exact — a feat accomplished using a series of mirrors and lenses that project the image onto a cluster of CCDs. It is also the largest camera ever sent out of Earth's orbit. If all goes as planned, once the craft enters Mars' orbit in March, 2006, the camera will take 1,000 high-resolution and 9,000 lower resolution over the course of its four year mission.

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