Status Report

Mars Odyssey Mission Status 30 Jan 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2002
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NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft is now in its mapping
orbit after completing two maneuvers this week to fine-tune
its nearly circular orbit and prepare it for the start of the
science mission.

At 12:14 p.m. Pacific Time today, Odyssey fired its
thrusters for 25 seconds and decreased the velocity of the
spacecraft by less than 2 meters per second (less than 4 miles
per hour).

On Monday, January 28, Odyssey fired its thrusters for 15
seconds, increasing its speed by just over 1 meter per second
(about 2.5 miles per hour).

“These small orbit trim maneuvers complement the larger
maneuvers we executed two weeks ago and tweak the orbit to get
just the right altitude and ground track coverage that we
desire. The net effect is that we move the periapsis point,
the point nearest the planet, directly over the south pole and
keep it there,” said Bob Mase, Odyssey’s lead navigator at
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “We are now
in our final mapping orbit and we don’t expect to perform any
additional maneuvers to change the orbit.”

Engineers are continuing to check out the spacecraft
systems and science instruments in preparation for the science
mapping mission that will begin in February. Two of the
science instruments, both neutron spectrometers that are part
of the gamma ray spectrometer suite, are currently operating
and collecting science data about the composition of the Mars

JPL manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA’s
Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Principal
investigators at Arizona State University in Tempe, the
University of Arizona in Tucson, and NASA’s Johnson Space
Center, Houston, Texas, operate the science instruments.
Additional science investigators are located at the Russian
Space Research Institute and Los Alamos National Laboratories,
New Mexico. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colo., is
the prime contractor for the project, and developed and built
the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from
Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena. NASA’s Langley Research
Center in Hampton, Va., has provided aerobraking support to
JPL’s navigation team during mission operations.

SpaceRef staff editor.