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Latest Mars Telecommunications Orbiter Stories

Mars Odyssey Switching Computers
2012-11-02 13:01:45

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, already the longest-working spacecraft ever sent to Mars, will switch to some fresh, redundant equipment next week that has not been used since before launch in 2001. Like many spacecraft, this orbiter carries a pair of redundant main computers, so that a backup is available if one fails. Odyssey's "A-side" computer and "B-side" computer each have several other redundant subsystems linked to just that computer. The Odyssey team...

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2010-09-22 09:00:46

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter resumed observing Mars with its science instruments on Sept. 18, recovering from an unplanned reboot of its computer three days earlier. The reboot put the orbiter into a precautionary standby called "safe mode" on Sept. 15. The event appears to have been similar to one the orbiter last experienced on Aug. 26, 2009. For 10 months prior to this latest reboot, the spacecraft operated normally, making science...

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2010-09-17 15:40:00

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a precautionary standby mode after experiencing a spontaneous computer reboot on Sept. 15. The mission's ground team has begun restoring the spacecraft to full operations. Initial analysis of telemetry from the orbiter indicates the "safe mode" status was triggered by a reboot similar to one experienced Aug. 26, 2009. That was the most recent time that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into safe mode. For 10 months prior to this...

2010-08-03 08:15:02

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has a new project manager: Phil Varghese, who has managed another veteran NASA Mars mission - the Mars Odyssey orbiter - since 2004. Varghese has worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., since 1989. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been examining Mars with six advanced instruments since 2006. It has returned more data than the total from all other NASA missions that have flown farther than the moon. Mars Odyssey began orbiting Mars...

2005-10-13 13:05:00

LOS ANGELES -- The California space laboratory that guided NASA's Mars rover missions has begun laying off workers in anticipation of a budget shift away from planetary expeditions, a spokesman said on Thursday. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena expects to shed 5 percent to 8 percent of its work force of 5,400, or about 300 contractors and employees, spokesman Blaine Baggett said. The JPL saw two missions canceled as a result of the budget realignment by NASA Administrator Michael D....

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2005-09-15 12:50:00

JPL -- Three cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter worked as expected in a test pointing them at the moon and stars on Sept. 8. "We feel great about how the camera performed and can hardly wait to see what it will show us at Mars," said Dr. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The test also checked operation of the spacecraft's Context Camera and Optical...

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2005-08-17 18:10:08

JPL -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on Aug. 12, has completed one of the first tasks of its seven-month cruise to Mars, a calibration activity for the spacecraft's Mars Color Imager instrument. "We have transitioned from launch mode to cruise mode, and the spacecraft continues to perform extremely well," said Dan Johnston, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter deputy mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The first and largest of four trajectory correction...