[meteorite-list] Mars Odyssey Succesfully Deploys GRS Boom

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:01:30 2004
Message-ID: <200206050044.RAA29168_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Mars Odyssey Mission Status
June 4, 2002

Flight controllers for NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft completed
the last major technical milestone today in support of the
science mission by unfurling the boom that holds the gamma ray
spectrometer sensor head instrument.

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.,
received confirmation from the spacecraft that the 6.2-meter
(20-foot) boom was successfully deployed at noon Pacific time.

The gamma sensor head is part of the gamma ray spectrometer
suite. It sits at the end of the boom to minimize interference
from any gamma rays coming from the spacecraft itself. The two
other gamma ray spectrometer instruments, the neutron
spectrometer and the high-energy neutron detector, are mounted
on the main spacecraft structure.

During the past few months, while the boom was in the stowed
position, the instrument suite has provided significant
information about the hydrogen abundance on Mars. This allowed
scientists to conclude there are large quantities of water ice
just below the surface.

"Deploying the boom enhances the sensitivity and accuracy of the
gamma ray spectrometer instrument and will improve the accuracy
of the hydrogen measurements," said Dr. William Boynton,
principal investigator for Odyssey's gamma ray spectrometer suite
at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Now the instrument will
begin measuring many other important elements such as iron,
aluminum, potassium, chlorine, thorium, uranium and others.

"Today's deployment is a continuation of the excellent
performance of this flight team. They have done an outstanding
job," said Roger Gibbs, Odyssey's project manager at JPL. "I
look forward to many exciting discoveries to come as we continue
our mission."

JPL manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of
Space Science, Washington, D.C. Principal investigators at
Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in
Tucson, and NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, operate the
science instruments. Additional science investigators are
located at the Russian Space Research Institute and Los Alamos
National Laboratories, New Mexico. Lockheed Martin Astronautics,
Denver, is the prime contractor for the project, and developed and
built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from
Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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Received on Tue 04 Jun 2002 08:44:15 PM PDT

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