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Spacecraft reaches halfway point on odyssey to Mars
Posted: Tue, Jul 17, 2001, 11:35 AM ET (1535 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft reached the halfway point in its 200-day mission to the red planet Monday in excellent health. The spacecraft passed the halfway point at 11:30 am EDT (1530 GMT) Monday, July 16, 100 days after being launched April 7 on a Delta 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mission managers said the spacecraft is in excellent shape and is precisely on course for an October 24 arrival at Mars. The spacecraft, NASA's first mission to the planet since the dual failures of Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander, will study the planet from orbit, constructing mineralogical and elemental maps of the planet's surface and looking for evidence of water. The spacecraft will also study the radiation environment in Martian orbit, data that will be of use for eventual human missions.
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