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Mars Odyssey instrument fails
Posted: Thu, Nov 27, 2003, 9:32 AM ET (1432 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration A radiation monitoring instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has failed, apparently because of the effects of a powerful solar storm. The Martian Radiation Environment (MARIE) experiment on the spacecraft is designed to measure the radiation environment in the vicinity of Mars to help planners for later human missions to the planet. MARIE shut down on October 28 during an intense solar storm, according to a project status report issued Wednesday. Engineers to date have been unable to fix the instrument, but plan to continue their efforts "for the next several weeks or months." MARIE experienced problems during the spacecraft's flight to Mars in 2001, but the instrument was fixed and had been operating continuously since March 2002. MARIE is one of three instruments on the spacecraft; no problems have been reported with the other two instruments.
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