2001 Mars Odyssey

2001 Mars Odyssey

Conceptual drawing of 2001 Mars Odyssey over Mars
Organization:NASA
Mission type:Orbiter
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2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. Its mission is to use spectrometers and imagers to hunt for evidence of past or present water and volcanic activity on Mars. It is hoped that the data Odyssey obtains will help answer the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars. It also acts as a relay for communications between the Mars Explorations Rovers and Earth. The mission was named after the movie , and refers to the differences between the movie and real life by the year 2001.

Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001 on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and reached Mars on October 24, 2001, 0230 Universal Time (October 23, 7:30 p.m. PDT/ 10:30 EDT). The spacecraft's main engine fired to brake the spacecraft's speed and allowed it to be captured into orbit around Mars. Odyssey used a technique called "aerobraking" that gradually brought the spacecraft closer to Mars with each orbit. By using the atmosphere of Mars to slow down the spacecraft in its orbit rather than firing its engine or thrusters, Odyssey was able to save more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of propellant. Aerobraking ended in January, and began its science mapping mission on February 19, 2002.

Scientific instruments

The three primary instruments Odyssey uses are the: On May 28, 2002, NASA reported that Odyssey's GRS had detected large amounts of hydrogen, a sign that there must be ice lying within a meter of the planet's surface.

Mission

Enlarge picture
Summary of the Mars Odyssey mission
NASA has approved an extended mission through September 2008 to allow observation of year-to-year differences in phenomena like polar ice, clouds and dust storms. The extension will also continue Odyssey's support for other Mars missions. About 85 percent of images and other data from NASA's twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have reached Earth via communications relay by Odyssey, which receives transmissions from both rovers every day. The orbiter helped analyze potential landing sites for the rovers and is doing the same for NASA's Phoenix mission, scheduled to land on Mars in 2008. Plans call for Odyssey to aid NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which reached Mars in March 2006, by monitoring atmospheric conditions during months when the newly arrived orbiter uses aerobraking to alter its orbit into the desired shape.

Enlarge picture
Mars Odyssey as imaged by Mars Global Surveyor

Naming

Mars Odyssey was originally named the Mars Surveyor 2001 Orbiter and was intended to have a companion spacecraft known as Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander. The lander mission was canceled in May 2000 following the failures of Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander in late 1999. Subsequently, the name 2001 Mars Odyssey was selected for the orbiter as a specific tribute to the vision of space exploration shown in works by Arthur C. Clarke, including . The music from Mythodea by Greek composer Vangelis was used as the theme music for the mission.

The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin. The expected cost for the entire mission is US$297 million.

See also

References

1. ^ P. R. Christensen, B. M. Jakosky, H. H. Kieffer, M. C. Malin, H. Y. McSween Jr., K. Nealson, G. L. Mehall, S. H. Silverman, S. Ferry, M. Caplinger, M Ravine (2004). "The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) for the Mars 2001 Odyssey Mission". Space Science Reviews 110 (1-2). DOI:10.1023/B:SPAC.0000021008.16305.94. Retrieved on 2007-04-22. 
2. ^ W.V. Boynton, W.C. Feldman, I.G. Mitrofanov, L.G. Evans, R.C. Reedy, S.W. Squyres, R. Starr, J.I. Trombka, C. d'Uston, J.R. Arnold, P.A.J. Englert, A.E. Metzger, H. Wänke, J. Brückner, D.M. Drake, C. Shinohara, C. Fellows, D.K. Hamara, K. Harshman, K. Kerry, C. Turner, M. Ward1, H. Barthe, K.R. Fuller, S.A. Storms, G.W. Thornton, J.L. Longmire, M.L. Litvak, A.K. Ton'chev (2004). "The Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Instrument Suite". Space Science Reviews 110 (1-2). DOI:10.1023/B:SPAC.0000021007.76126.15. Retrieved on 2007-04-22. 

External links

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robotic spacecraft is a spacecraft with no humans on board, that is usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft designed to make scientific research measurements is often called a space probe.
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ORBit is a CORBA compliant Object Request Broker (ORB). The current version is called ORBit2 and is compliant with CORBA version 2.4. It is developed under the GPL license and is used as middleware for the GNOME project.
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Mars  

Mars as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope
Orbital characteristics
Epoch J2000<ref name="nssdc" />
Aphelion distance: 249,228,730 km
1.66599116 AU
Perihelion distance: 206,644,545 km
1.
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spectrometer is an optical instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials.
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Water is a common chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life.[1] In typical usage, water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has a solid state, ice, and a gaseous state, water vapor.
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Volcano:
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Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission is an ongoing robotic mission of exploring Mars, that began in 2003 with the sending of two rovers — Spirit and Opportunity — to explore the Martian surface and geology.
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Delta II

A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite
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Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) is a camera onboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter. It images Mars in the visible and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to determine the thermal properties of the surface and to refine the distribution of minerals
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Gamma Ray Spectrometers (GRS) are instruments that use the gamma-ray part of the spectrum to look for the presence of 20 elements from the periodic table, and have been used in the exploration of Mars, the Eros asteroid and the Moon[1].
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The quark structure of the neutron.
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