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Mars Odyssey adjusts course
Posted: Tue, Sep 18, 2001, 11:54 AM ET (1554 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully adjusted its course towards the Red Planet early Monday, project officials announced. The spacecraft fired its thrusters for 12 seconds at 12:06 am EDT (0406 GMT) Monday, changing its velocity by 0.45 meters per second. The maneuver is the first in a series designed to target the spacecraft for Mars orbit insertion, scheduled for 10:30 pm EDT October 23 (0230 GMT October 24). Monday's maneuver was "was right on the money," according to mission manager David Spencer. Project officials also said they had successfully resolved an intermittent problem with the spacecraft's star tracker that had appeared in recent weeks. Sunlight was saturating the tracker's camera, preventing it from observing stars used to determine the spacecraft's orientation. Engineers traced the problem to an open door on the spacecraft's gamma ray spectrometer instrument that was reflecting light into the star tracker; closing the door eliminated the problem.
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