MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
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.

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5/9/01MAH
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