Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long-lived Mars Odyssey orbiter resumes work with fresh equipment

Date:
November 13, 2012
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The NASA Mars Odyssey orbiter has resumed duty after switching to a set of redundant equipment, including a main computer, that had not been used since before the spacecraft's 2001 launch.

NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft passes above Mars' south pole in this artist's concept. The spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since October 24, 2001.
Credit: NASA/JPL

The NASA Mars Odyssey orbiter has resumed duty after switching to a set of redundant equipment, including a main computer, that had not been used since before the spacecraft's 2001 launch.

Odyssey relayed data to Earth late Sunday that it received from NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars using the orbiter's fresh "B-side" radio for UHF (ultra-high frequency) communications. In plans for this week are relay opportunities for the newest Mars rover, Curiosity, and resumption of Odyssey's own scientific observations.

"The side-swap has gone well. All the subsystems that we are using for the first time are performing as intended," said Odyssey Project Manager Gaylon McSmith of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Like many spacecraft, this orbiter carries a pair of redundant main computers, to have a backup available if one fails. Odyssey's A-side computer and B-side computer each have several other redundant subsystems linked to just that computer.

Odyssey is already the longest-working spacecraft ever sent to Mars. The side swap was initiated last week in response to months of diagnostic data indicating that the A side's inertial measurement unit shows signs of wearing out. This gyroscope-containing mechanism senses changes in the spacecraft's orientation, providing important information for control of pointing the antenna, solar arrays and instruments.

The diagnostics indicate that the A side's inertial measurement unit still has a few months or more of useful life. The reason for switching sides was to keep a fully functional A side available in case of any problem on the B side in coming years that can be dealt with by switching back to the A side temporarily for a few days or weeks.

"It is testimony to the excellent design of this spacecraft and operation of this mission in partnership with Lockheed Martin that we have brand-new major components available to begin using after more than 11 years at Mars," McSmith said.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Odyssey project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. JPL and Lockheed Martin collaborate on operating the spacecraft.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which shares with Odyssey the data-relay responsibility for NASA's Mars rovers, continued relay support while Odyssey was unavailable for a few days following the side swap.

Odyssey launched April 7, 2001, began orbiting Mars Oct. 24 that year, began systematic science observations of Mars in early 2002, and broke the previous record for longest-working Mars spacecraft in December 2010. Odyssey's longevity enables continued science by instruments on the orbiter, including the monitoring of seasonal changes on Mars from year to year, in addition to communication-relay service. For more about the Mars Odyssey mission, visit: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Long-lived Mars Odyssey orbiter resumes work with fresh equipment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113141549.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2012, November 13). Long-lived Mars Odyssey orbiter resumes work with fresh equipment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113141549.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Long-lived Mars Odyssey orbiter resumes work with fresh equipment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113141549.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins