Categories: astronomyJPLNASA

Mars Orbiter Recovering from Precautionary Pause in Activity

Mars Odyssey Mission Status Report

NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, which has been in service at Mars since October 2001, put itself into safe mode — a protective standby status — on Dec. 26, while remaining in communication with Earth.

The Odyssey project team has diagnosed the cause — an uncertainty aboard the spacecraft about its orientation with regard to Earth and the sun — and is restoring the orbiter to full operations. Odyssey’s communication-relay service for assisting Mars rover missions is expected to resume this week, and Odyssey’s own science investigations of the Red Planet are expected to resume next week.

The orbiter’s knowledge of its orientation was restored Dec. 26 by resetting the inertial measurement unit and the circuit card that serves as interface between that sensor, the flight software and the star tracker, for determining spacecraft attitude. The mission last experienced a similar fault and solution in December 2013.

Mars Odyssey left Earth on April 7, 2001, entered orbit around Mars on Oct. 24, and began systematically examining Mars in February 2002. In December 2010, it surpassed the previous record for longevity of a robotic mission at Mars. The Mars Odyssey Project has been extending that record daily for more than six years.

In addition to its direct contributions to planetary science, Odyssey provides important support for other missions in NASA’s Journey to Mars through communication-relay service and observations of candidate landing sites.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Odyssey Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft and collaborates with JPL in mission operations. For more information about Odyssey, visit:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey

wil

Recent Posts

  • ESO

ESO Astronomers uncover a cosmic titan using VLT

An international team of astronomers using the VIMOS instrument of ESO’s Very Large Telescope have uncovered a titanic structure in…

1 month ago
  • astronomy
  • Earth
  • NASA

Chandra Operations Resume After Cause of Safe Mode Identified

Oct. 15 Update: The cause of Chandra's safe mode on October 10 has now been understood and the Operations team…

1 month ago
  • Humans in Space

Could this be the new Space Force seal?

With a short title of "/r/HelloInternet reckoned you'd like this: a 'Space Force' seal concept", reddit user karanut made it to…

3 months ago
  • Commercial Space
  • Humans in Space
  • Mars
  • Tech

Richard Branson Confident Virgin Galactic Will Get Him to Space This Year

Two years ago, we touched on some ambitious efforts to reach Mars. Notably, we reported on the astonishing undertaking of…

3 months ago
  • ISS

Goodyear to Study Tire Materials Reaction in International Space Station Experiments

SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2018  -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT) plans to test tire components in space as…

4 months ago
  • NASA

Gooper Hermetic Ltd Chosen for a NASA Space Technology Development Program

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 23, 2018  -- Gooper Hermetic Ltd was chosen by Canada's Thin Red Line Aerospace to provide…

4 months ago