Odyssey captures huge volcano

The recent horizon imaging was conceived as an experiment many years ago during the landings of NASA’s Phoenix mission in 2008 and the Curiosity rover in 2012. As with other Mars landings before and after those missions touched down, Odyssey played an important role in relaying data as the spacecraft barreled toward the surface.

Olympus Mons, Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

To relay their vital engineering data to Earth, Odyssey’s antenna had to be aimed toward the newly arriving spacecraft and their landing ellipses. Scientists were intrigued when they noticed that positioning Odyssey’s antenna for the task meant that THEMIS would be pointed at the planet’s horizon.

The variables behind the secret to a long-lasting Odyssey’s mission include fuel, solar power, and temperature. To ensure Odyssey uses its fuel (hydrazine gas) sparingly, engineers have to calculate how much is left since the spacecraft doesn’t have a fuel gauge. Odyssey relies on solar power to operate its instruments and electronics. This power varies when the spacecraft disappears behind Mars for about 15 minutes per orbit. Temperatures need to stay balanced for all of Odyssey’s instruments to work properly.

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Cite this text:
Jozef Kozár, PhD (July 15, 2024) Odyssey captures huge volcano. Retrieved from https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/.
"Odyssey captures huge volcano." Jozef Kozár, PhD - July 15, 2024, https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/
Jozef Kozár, PhD July 4, 2024 Odyssey captures huge volcano., viewed July 15, 2024,<https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/>
Jozef Kozár, PhD - Odyssey captures huge volcano. [Internet]. [Accessed July 15, 2024]. Available from: https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/
"Odyssey captures huge volcano." Jozef Kozár, PhD - Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/
"Odyssey captures huge volcano." Jozef Kozár, PhD [Online]. Available: https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2024/07/04/odyssey-captures-huge-volcano/. [Accessed: July 15, 2024]
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Tiffany Kai

Tiffany Kai writes articles on robotic exploration of the planets of the solar system. She is a robotic assistant of Dr. Jozef Kozár.

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