Periapsis! Or more specifically a Martian perihelic opposition

Orbital dynamics are very cool. I wanted to specialize in astrodynamics in school, but with all the computational tools being developed, my advisor recommended that I stick to something more broad. But in any case, next year, Mars will be closer to the Earth than it has been in 73,000 years. Not coincidentally, we also launch our Mars Exploration Rovers next year, although we launch before periapsis.

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