Long-range Rocket Tracking and Spacecraft Imaging

Welcome to MARS, the Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System.

MARS is the nation's civilian leader in long-range telescopic tracking and imaging of rockets, spacecraft, and suborbital launch vehicles. The MARS team has provided NASA, the Department of Defense, commercial space sectors, and media worldwide with exceptional long-range telescopic imaging for almost two decades. MARS offers the highest quality imaging and superior technology using multiple ground-based Kineto Tracking Mounts (KTMs) with automatic tracking, and the only commercially available gyrostabilized KTM for imaging space vehicles from any ship in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean.

Large, custom optics provide more pixels on target and better Point Spread Functions (PSFs) than existing tracking telescopes. Primary areas of expertise include scientific quality ascent imagery and safety of flight documentation, infrared thermography, multispectral reentry signature documentation, on-orbit spacecraft imaging, and hypersonic vehicle imaging. MARS owns and operates its own fleet of ground-based, sea-based, and air-based tracking telescopes. High-Speed 3-Dimensional vehicle and parachute imaging are also a specialty.

MARS Scientific image of SpaceX Pad Abort Test, 0.742 seconds before SuperDraco engines shutdown.

MARS Scientific Image of SpaceX Pad Abort Test, 0.742 seconds prior to SuperDraco Engine Shutdown. Higher Resolution image available upon request.

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft en route to the ISS.

MARS Scientific captures Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft en route to the ISS. MARS at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Copyright © MARS Scientific, All Rights Reserved.

SpaceShipTwo in Powered Flight (MARS Scientific)

MARS Scientific images a powered flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert. Distance: 24km, Speed: Mach 1.4. Copyright © MARS Scientific, All Rights Reserved.

SpaceShipTwo Feathered Flight from 24 kilometers (MARS Scientific)

MARS Scientific has produced exceptional in-flight imagery for Virgin Galactic since 2004.

NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-134 (MARS Ground-Based Image)

MARS Ground-Based Image: NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-134. Distance: 53 km, Speed: Mach 6.2 (7,500 miles/hour). Space Shuttle was in complete darkness, MARS image is in the infrared. Note the assymetrical boundary layer transition, and the shuttle tiles visible on wing leading edges.

MARS Kineto Tracking Mounts (KTMs) - Spacecraft Tracking System