MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
MARS ODYSSEY MISSION STATUS
May 9, 2001
This morning, flight controllers for NASA's 2001 Mars
Odyssey spacecraft at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
successfully tested the ability of the high-gain
communications antenna to send and receive commands. Since
launch, the spacecraft has been receiving commands over its
low-gain antenna and transmitting signals via its medium-gain
antenna. Today's test showed the high-gain antenna is working
well, and engineers will begin using that link regularly at
the end of the month.
Last Friday, May 4, engineers conducted a thruster
calibration test designed to measure the small velocity
changes that occur when the spacecraft fires its attitude
control thrusters. Navigators report that the test went
extremely well and that the data are
consistent with performance that was predicted before launch.
Odyssey is currently about 9.5 million kilometers (5.8
million miles) from Earth and traveling at a speed of about 30
kilometers per second (about 67,700 miles per hour) relative
to the Sun.
The Mars Odyssey mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington,
D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena. The Odyssey spacecraft was built by
Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver.