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Waspie_Dwarf

Mars Orbiter to Phone Home Mars Landing

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Mars Orbiter Repositioned to Phone Home Mars Landing

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PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has successfully adjusted its orbital location to be in a better position to provide prompt confirmation of the August landing of the Curiosity rover.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying Curiosity can send limited information directly to Earth as it enters Mars' atmosphere. Before the landing, Earth will set below the Martian horizon from the descending spacecraft's perspective, ending that direct route of communication. Odyssey will help to speed up the indirect communication process.

NASA reported during a July 16 news conference that Odyssey, which originally was planned to provide a near-real-time communication link with Curiosity, had entered safe mode July 11. This situation would have affected communication operations, but not the rover's landing. Without a repositioning maneuver, Odyssey would have arrived over the landing area about two minutes after Curiosity landed.

A spacecraft thruster burn Tuesday, July 24, lasting about six seconds has nudged Odyssey about six minutes ahead in its orbit. Odyssey is now operating normally, and confirmation of Curiosity's landing is expected to reach Earth at about 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (early Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time), as originally planned.

"Information we are receiving indicates the maneuver has completed as planned," said Mars Odyssey Project Manager Gaylon McSmith of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Odyssey has been working at Mars longer than any other spacecraft, so it is appropriate that it has a special role in supporting the newest arrival."

Two other Mars orbiters, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the European Space Agency's Mars Express, also will be in position to receive radio transmissions from the Mars Science Laboratory during its descent. However, they will be recording information for later playback, not relaying it immediately, as only Odyssey can.

Odyssey arrived at Mars in 2001. Besides conducting its own scientific observations, it has served as a communication relay for NASA's Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and the Phoenix lander on the Martian surface. NASA plans to use Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as communication relays for Curiosity during that rover's two-year prime mission on Mars.

Odyssey and the Mars Science Laboratory, with its Curiosity rover, are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Curiosity was built at JPL.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built Odyssey. JPL and Lockheed Martin collaborate on operating Odyssey.

For more about the Mars Odyssey mission, visit hthttp://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/odyssey/index.html and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey .

For information about the Curiosity landing, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mars and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .

Guy Webster 818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726

NASA Headquarters, Washington

dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

2012-218

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X fingers that all goes as planned,a failure would be disastrous.

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X fingers that all goes as planned,a failure would be disastrous.

Couldn't agree more, They took a big gamble in the landing system

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If this thing works it is going to be bloody AMAZING!!!!!! Nothing negative intended in the comment, I just think that it seems so complicated and with so many things that could go wrong, if it does touch down and work as planned it is going to be a huge confidence builder for unmanned exploration going forward.

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I would like to see unmanned exploration move forward and even manned ones. With the population on this planet growing in leaps and bounds we may need the resources of other worlds to sustain life on this one.

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I cannot wait for this baby to land and get some science started!

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C'MON BABY! YOU CAN DO IT!

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Posted (edited)

Well if positive thought helped, you guys have helped ensure success... :)

Oh what the hell, come on baby bring home the bacon!!

Edited by Junior Chubb

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7 minutes of terror comming up,... hold on to your hats people.

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Fingers crossed all goes well

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Couldn't agree more, They took a big gamble in the landing system

I would disagree that they are taking a gamble. What they are doing is pushing the boundary. Curiosity is just too large for the parachute and airbag system which has worked so well in the past. That leaves a controlled descent by rocket. A lander would require heavy duty landing legs, which would add weight. The skycrane is a logical solution to the problem. It is also a work of genius.

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I would like to see unmanned exploration move forward and even manned ones. With the population on this planet growing in leaps and bounds we may need the resources of other worlds to sustain life on this one.

Absolutely agree. The success of a civilization will be in its ability to successfully populate another planet simply because at some time in the future a doomsday event will occur on this planet.

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Well, with any luck the rover will not only land but discover microbial life in its travels. Let's just not bring any back to earth quite yet. I've watched enough sci-fi movies to know this is NEVER a good idea, lol!

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but the microbial life might be similar to earths so it wont be tat exciting. if the rover finds like intelligent life tat could walk talk eat read those things tat would be rlly exciting

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