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Mars Odyssey slows aerobraking, delays first image
Posted: Mon, Oct 29, 2001, 9:10 AM ET (1410 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration Mars Odyssey mission controllers have slowed down the beginning of the aerobraking phase of the spacecraft's mission and have delayed the first image taken by the spacecraft until Tuesday, the Associated Press reported early Monday. Mission managers said there were no problems with the spacecraft, only that they were "just being conservative" when they decided to add a couple more steps during the "walk-in" portion of the aerobraking procedure. These extra steps will delay the first picture taken by the spacecraft's thermal infrared imaging system until Tuesday. The aerobraking phase of the mission is scheduled to last through the end of the year, using passes through the upper fringes of the Martian atmosphere to gradually change the spacecraft's orbit from its initial 18.5-hour elliptical orbit to a circular 2-hour orbit.
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