At 8:30 a.m. Pacific time today, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft passed the halfway point on its journey to Mars. It has been 100 days since Odyssey's launch and 100 days remain until it arrives at the red planet.
"Odyssey is now closer to Mars than Earth. The spacecraft is healthy and all systems are looking good," said David A. Spencer, the Odyssey mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Planning for Mars approach and orbit insertion in October is our primary focus right now."
The navigation team reports the spacecraft is right on course. To date, the Deep Space Network has taken 11 separate measurements using the so-called 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.
Today, Odyssey is 45.8 million kilometers (about 28.5 million miles) from Earth and 30 million kilometers (about 19 million miles) from Mars, traveling at a velocity of 26 kilometers per second (58,000 miles per hour) relative to the Sun.
The Mars Odyssey mission is managed by JPL 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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