The orbiter put itself in safe mode June 8 when one of its three primary reaction wheels that control the orbiter's orientation in space stuck for a few minutes.
In safe mode the spacecraft remained pointed toward Earth rather than down to Mars until mission controllers put the orbiter's spare reaction wheel into use to control Odyssey's orientation, returning it to pointing toward Mars, known as nadir.
"Attitude control in nadir pointing is being maintained with the use of the replacement wheel, and the suspect wheel has been taken out of use," Odyssey Project Manager Gaylon McSmith of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., reported.
Controllers will continue to monitor the performance of the replacement wheel in coming days while assessing the spacecraft's readiness to return to full operation, officials said.
Once returned to full service, Odyssey will resume its communication relay function for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, and will begin preparing to serve as a communications relay for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission scheduled to put the large Curiosity rover on the Red Planet in August.
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