AstroMast Boom Deploys Key Instrument on Odyssey Spacecraft in Mars Orbit

Press Release From: TRW, Inc.
Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2002

An AstroMast(TM) boom designed and built by Astro Aerospace helped NASA to successfully deploy the Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) instrument sensor head on the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft earlier this week. Launched in 2001, the Odyssey spacecraft is part of NASA's long-term Mars Exploration Program.

The six-meter boom is designed to enhance mapping of the surface of Mars by reducing interference from gamma rays generated by the spacecraft. One of three instrument suites on Odyssey, the GRS will determine the presence of chemical elements on the surface of Mars. Mars Odyssey is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"We are delighted with our second success on a Mars mission, complementing our deployable ramps on Mars Pathfinder -- and very proud of Astro's record of reliability," said Chris Yamada, president, Astro Aerospace. "We have flown hundreds of mechanisms on critical space missions, and every Astro product has provided 100% mission success."

AstroMast booms feature ultra-compact stowed volume, low mass and excellent deployed stiffness. Some 35 AstroMasts are already in earth and interplanetary orbits, having been used to deploy instruments, antennas and solar sails for civil, military and commercial customers.

Astro Aerospace is a wholly owned subsidiary of TRW, Inc. , with headquarters in Carpinteria, Calif. Astro Aerospace is a leader in the design and manufacture of space deployable structures, including furlable antennas and reflectors, truss masts, telescopic booms, storable tubular extendible members, solar arrays and deep truss structures. Further information on Astro Aerospace is available at

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