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Odyssey firms help Mars mission

Things are looking good for the Manx mission to the moon after two of its contractors supplied equipment to NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander.

MacDonald Dettwiler and Optech Incorporated are both based in Canada and built a laser radar system which is used in the spacecraft’s meteorological station.

Both companies are industrial partners with Odyssey Moon, the Isle of Man based firm which is hoping to win the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.

The competition involves sending a successful commercial craft to the moon and operating a rover which has to travel at least 500 metres transmitting high-definition images and video.

Odyssey Moon Chief Executive Officer Dr Robert Richards joined the Phoenix team at the University of Arizona Mission Science Operations Centre to watch the Mars landing.

Afterwards, he congratulated both MacDonald Dettwiler and Optech Incorporated and said the Mars mission’s success was a step towards achieving Odyssey’s lunar goal.

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