NASA officials in Pasadena declared full confidence today that the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft will successfully go into orbit around the Red Planet next week.
The Odyssey mission comes in the aftermath of back-to-back losses of NASA´s Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander in 1999.
Odyssey project manager Matt Landano spoke to a news conference today at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He said the spacecraft, flight team and ground systems are ready.
The Mars program scientist at NASA headquarters, Jim Garvin, said the agency is “entirely satisfied´´ with the effort of the Odyssey team. But he repeatedly spoke of the difficulty of exploring Mars.