Mars Odyssey Probe Settles into Science Orbit

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft settled into its final orbit Wednesday and is now prepared to begin its science mission. The craft reached Mars Oct. 23 and engineers have been gradually refining its orbit from an elongated one that took the craft far from the Red Planet to a nearly circular one that is 249 miles (400-kilometers) above the planet. “We are now in our final mapping orbit and we don’t expect to perform any additional maneuvers to change the orbit,” said Bob Mase, Odyssey’s lead navigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.