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NASA troubleshoots problem on Mars Odyssey orbiter

6:55 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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LOS ANGELES - NASA says one of its orbiting Mars spacecraft is in safe mode after it detected a problem.

The space agency said Friday the Mars Odyssey put itself into standby mode Thursday night as a precaution. The spacecraft noticed something odd with one of its gyroscope-like devices that helps control orientation.

Mission manager Chris Potts of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement engineers are communicating with the spacecraft and the issue is limited to the device. Engineers are working on a plan to resume normal operations.

Mars Odyssey is one of two NASA spacecraft circling the red planet. Launched in 2001, it snaps pictures of the Martian surface and communicates with spacecraft on the surface.

It will play an important role during the August landing of NASA's newest rover.

The Associated Press

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