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(CNN) - The Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully extended the main communications antenna it will use to send science data to Earth, NASA officials said. Engineers received confirmation earlier this week that the boom holding the 4.3-foot wide dish had deployed. The spacecraft will use the parabolic antenna to transmit the scientific data it gathers, including images, back to Earth at 110,000 bits per second. In later years, the satellite will use the antenna to relay to Earth data gathered by other probes both in orbit around Mars and operating on its surface. Odyssey, which started its $297 million journey on April 7, will map the mineral and chemical makeup of the surface of Mars and hunt for large deposits of water when its science work begins later this month.
(More info: CNN.com)
- posted by Alex @ 16:04 EST