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Ivelisse Gilman
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RELEASE NO. 01-018

For Release:   March 19, 2001

2001 Mars Odyssey briefing set for Monday, March 19

Mars Odyssey illustration     Researchers at NASA Langley Research Center will play an important role in NASA's next mission to Mars.

     NASA Langley’s aerobraking simulations will help get the 2001 Mars Odyssey where it needs to go to accomplish its scientific goals. Aerobraking is when a spacecraft dips into the atmosphere to shed energy. This places it in a lower orbit from where it can make its observations.

     Odyssey is scheduled to launch April 7 on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. It’s expected to reach Mars in October of this year.

     The mission and scientific goals of Mars Odyssey will be the subject of a news briefing Monday, March 19, at 1 p.m. EST. The briefing will originate from NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. It will be carried live on NASA-TV with two-way question and answer capability for reporters covering the event from accompanying NASA centers.

     Local media are invited to participate from the Langley newsroom located in building 1202 on North Dryden Street. Reporters will be met at the gate at 12:40 p.m. and provided with badges by a representative of the Public Affairs Office.

Participants from NASA Langley will be:
     •  Mark Saunders, Deputy Director, Space Access and Exploration Program Office;
     •  Mary Kae Lockwood, Planetary Team Lead, Vehicle Analysis Branch;
     •  Richard Powell, Langley Technical Lead for Mars Odyssey; and
     •  Paul Tartabini, Langley Deputy Lead for Mars Odyssey

Participants from NASA Headquarters will be:
     •  Dr. Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.;
     •  Scott Hubbard, Mars Program Director, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.;
     •  Dr. Jim Garvin, Mars Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.;
     •  George Pace, 2001 Mars Odyssey Project Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.; and
     •  Dr. Steve Saunders, 2001 Mars Odyssey Project Scientist, JPL, Pasadena, Calif.

For more information please check the Internet at:

NASA TV is broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz. Audio of the broadcast will be available by calling 321/867-1220.

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