March 1, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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An illustration of the Mars Odyssey Orbiter as it circles Mars

NASA is studying a veteran Mars orbiter to solve the mystery of missing fuel

Engineers at NASA and Lockheed Martin Space have taken on the difficult task of measuring the fuel supply for the oldest spacecraft orbiting Mars without the use of a fuel gauge, after calculations indicated the lander might be close to operating empty.

Estimates from 2021 and 2022 indicate that Mars Odyssey orbiter Its propellant was depleted much faster than expected, prompting an investigation into the craft’s “missing fuel”. In the end, the scientists concluded that the missing fuel wasn’t missing at all! This means that Odyssey should have enough propellant to last until the end of 2025.