A maestro NASA booster in circuit around Mars is solemnly bouncing behind from a malfunction suffered final month, though goal managers design a orbiter to make a full recovery, group officials said.
In early June, NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter mislaid a use of one of a 3 greeting wheels, that assistance control a probe’s opinion and course in space though wanting to glow thrusters.
When a circle jammed, Odyssey placed itself into a supposed protected mode, that points a booster toward Earth (rather than a normal downward position confronting Mars) to safeguard improved communications access. Mission controllers afterwards educated Odyssey to use a gangling greeting circle onboard as they assessed a situation.
On Jul 11, after behaving a scheme to adjust a orbit, Odyssey again placed itself into a precautionary protected mode. The booster remained in this state for 21 hours before goal managers began recuperating normal operations, according to NASA officials.
“It’s out of protected mode and they’re adding scholarship observations and functions a day during a time, in a routine of removing it behind to full operations,” pronounced Guy Webster, a orator during NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. [Mars Odyssey: Pictures from Longest Mars Mission]
Mission controllers are awaiting a 11-year-old orbiter to eventually resume a unchanging tasks.
“We are on a discreet trail to resume Odyssey’s scholarship and send operations soon,” Gaylon McSmith, Odyssey plan manager during JPL in Pasadena, Calif., pronounced in a matter final week.
In further to mapping a aspect of a Red Planet, Mars Odyssey also acts as a pivotal information send hire between NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and Earth. Odyssey’s glitch, however, did not impact a rover’s belligerent operations, Webster told SPACE.com.
NASA is also formulation to use Odyssey to assistance send information during a arriving alighting of a newest Mars rover, Curiosity, that is set to hold down on a Red Planet on a night of Aug. 5. Originally, Odyssey was approaching to have a full perspective of Curiosity’s alighting on Mars, though a glitch final month might have altered a orbiter’s position in space, pronounced Doug McCuistion, executive of a Mars Exploration Program during NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Odyssey looks like it might not be where we design it to be,” McCuistion pronounced in a news lecture Monday (July 16).
This means that belligerent controllers might have to wait several mins before meaningful either a Curiosity corsair survived a harrowing outing by a Martian atmosphere.
To forestall any kind of delay, NASA might opt to pierce Odyssey to safeguard that it can collect undeviating observations of Curiosity’s landing. A final preference on a due scheme has nonetheless to be made, Webster said.
Mars Odyssey was launched in Apr 2001 and has been orbiting a Red Planet longer than any other Mars goal in history. The 11-year-old orbiter has been mapping a Martian aspect to investigate a planet’s chemical and vegetable distribution.
- The Best (And Worst) Mars Landings in History
- Occupy Mars: History of Robotic Red Planet Missions (Infographic)
- Mars Rover Curiosity: Mars Science Lab Coverage
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