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12 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. space agency will try again today to launch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the largest and most sophisticated probe ever sent to the red planet.

A glitch in computer software and sensors that monitor the fueling of the rocket used during liftoff forced NASA to cancel its first attempt yesterday.

Scientists hope the 720-million-dollar unmanned spacecraft will provide unprecedented information on the planet's weather, climate and geology. The orbiter is expected to arrive at its destination in March and spend at least four years circling Mars.

If the Mars orbiter is successful, NASA plans to send two further probes to the planet's surface for further research.

NASA is to try to launch the spacecraft today between 7:43 and 9:43 a.m. local time.

(AP)

See also:

NASA Set To Launch Latest Mars Probe
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