This drawing demonstrates the original orbit of Mars Global Surveyor about Mars. The orbit is shown by the white line. One can see that the original orbit of MGS was far from circular! (This drawing is not to scale. It it merely meant to show the elliptical nature of MGS's original orbit)
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL
MGS Original Orbit
When the Mars Global Surveyor
first went into orbit around around Mars
, its orbit was elliptical. That means the orbit (shown by the white line in the picture) was shaped like an oval or an egg.
But then the Surveyor went through a series of aerobraking steps to make the orbit more like a circle!
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