Mars Odyssey Mission Status NASA

Flight controllers of NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey mission report that the aerobraking phase is proceeding right on schedule and should be completed in early January. During the aerobraking phase of the mission, the spacecraft is controlled so it skims the upper reaches of the martian atmosphere on each orbit, to reduce the vehicle’s speed. Today, Odyssey’s orbital period is three hours and 15 minutes, compared with the initial 18-and-a-half hours when the spacecraft first entered orbit in October. The orbital period is the time required to complete one revolution around the planet.