National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Mars Odyssey Mission Status
Mars Odyssey Mission Status
6 Feb 2002
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

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

Contacts: JPL/Mary Hardin (818) 354-0344

NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft deployed its high-gain communications antenna last night, marking a major technical milestone prior to the beginning of the science mapping mission.

At 7:29 p.m. Pacific Time, Tuesday, Feb. 5, mission controllers monitored changes in the radio signal from Odyssey, indicating that the release and deployment of the antenna boom were proceeding as planned. The antenna boom was deployed to its latched position with a motor-driven hinge and locked into place as expected. The antenna's position is controlled with a two-axis gimbal assembly that allows the spacecraft to communicate with Earth while the science instruments are simultaneously collecting data of Mars. Overnight, flight controllers checked out the gimbals, which allow the antenna to be pointed in a variety of positions to track Earth.

"Successful deployment of the high gain antenna paves the way for Odyssey to achieve the real payoff of the mission, the science data return," said David A. Spencer, Odyssey's mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The science instruments are expected to begin collecting data later this month. Flight controllers first need to test the mapping orientation of the spacecraft, in which the instruments are pointed at Mars while the antenna tracks Earth.

The high-gain antenna is 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) in diameter, with a parabolic shape. The antenna can transmit at data rates as high as 110 thousand bits per second.

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.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 6 Feb 2002