||2001 News Releases
Mars Odyssey Mission Status
June 18, 2001
NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft is in excellent health as engineers
continue to check out and evaluate the performance of its systems and science
instruments during its early cruise phase.
Friday morning, June 15, flight controllers successfully conducted a visible
imaging calibration test of the thermal emission imaging system by pointing the
instrument at a star, Menkent, and taking several pictures. Those data were transmitted to
Earth during the weekend. Also last week, engineers began a process of heating the
gamma ray spectrometer detector in order to erase radiation damage that has naturally
occurred to the detector thus far during cruise. The detector will then be in an optimal
state to collect science data once the gamma sensor head door is opened later this month.
Earlier this month, engineers successfully tested the UHF radio system by sending
and receiving data via the 46-meter UHF antenna at Stanford University in California.
The team is continuing to review the data from those tests and plans to conduct additional
tests this week.
The Deep Space Network has taken several measurements using the delta
differential one-way range measurement, a technique that uses two ground stations to
determine the angular position of the spacecraft relative to the known position of a
quasar. The measurements provide the navigation team with an additional source of
information, adding confidence to their estimates of the Odyssey flight path.
Currently, Odyssey is 26.6 million kilometers (16.5 million miles) from Earth,
traveling at a speed of 27.6 kilometers per second (about 61,900 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. The thermal emission imaging system is provided by
Arizona State University, the gamma ray spectrometer is provided by the University of
Contacts: Mary Hardin (818) 354-0344
JPL Media Relations Office