Press Release

Odyssey Moon Partners Reach Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
June 5, 2008
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Odyssey Moon Partners Reach Mars

Douglas, Isle of Man – Today’s weather report from Mars is great, thanks to Odyssey Moon industrial partners MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and Optech Incorporated. The two Canadian companies are part of the NASA Phoenix Mars mission, which successfully landed on the Red Planet on May 25th, 2008 after a victorious 422 million mile voyage chasing Mars around the Sun. Odyssey Moon prime contractor MDA was responsible for the creation of a number of technologies on the Phoenix Mars lander, including the lidar (laser radar) system designed and built in partnership with Optech Incorporated. The lidar plays a central role in the Meteorological Station contributed to NASA by the Canadian Space Agency, today celebrating its first week of flawless operation, probing the content and structure of the Martian atmosphere.

Odyssey Moon Limited, the first registered competitor for the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE, announced MDA as its prime contractor in December 2007. The company was selected because of its track record of delivering cost-effective and reliable space systems for over the 40 years. Optech Incorporated, partnered with MDA for the development of space lidar systems, was also announced as a corporate partner of Odyssey Moon.

Odyssey Moon CEO Dr. Robert Richards joined members of the Phoenix team gathered at the University of Arizona Mission Science Operations Centre to watch the dramatic landing. “Space is hard and requires an experienced team to do it right,” he said. “We are confident our industrial team will help us enjoy the same high level of success as we reach for the Moon and the Google Lunar X PRIZE.” Dr. Richards leads Optech’s role in the Phoenix program as the company’s director of space technology.

The Phoenix Mars mission is the first of NASA’s “Scout” program, led by Dr. Peter Smith of the University of Arizona. The $420 million project has delivered the first mission to reach the arctic region of the Red Planet, carrying a 59-kilogram cargo of instruments and a robotic arm to search for water and traces of organic chemicals essential for life. Optech founder and Chairman Dr. Allan Carswell is one of the principal scientists using the Phoenix lidar to study the atmosphere of Mars to help understand the forces driving climate change on Mars and here on Earth.

Odyssey Moon Chairman, Dr. Ramin Khadem, remarked, “The Phoenix Mars mission is an extraordinary testament to what a team can accomplish in the face of almost incalculable challenges. Odyssey Moon heartily congratulates the entire NASA team and our partners MDA and Optech who play such key roles in making these scientific and technological feats possible.”

Odyssey Moon extends its congratulations to its prime contractor MDA and industrial partner Optech for the critical role they are playing in the successful Phoenix Mars lander program, wishing the multinational Phoenix Team continued success delivering phenomenal new knowledge about Mars and increasing our understanding of the planetary processes affecting our own Planet Earth.

About Odyssey Moon

Odyssey Moon Limited is a private commercial lunar enterprise headquartered in the Isle of Man involving partners in many nations. The company is an innovative partnership of aerospace, banking, property, and international legal interests that have come together to offer unique commercial lunar business services and products for humanity’s permanent return to the Moon. Odyssey Moon is dedicated to the long-term responsible development of the Moon for the benefit of all Humanity.

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For further information please contact:

Daven Maharaj
+1 (416) 356-6211

Information about Odyssey Moon:

Information about the Phoenix Mars Mission:

Mars weather report available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.