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During the next few weeks, engineers from Lockheed Martin, JPL and NASAwill perform checkout and calibrations on the spacecraft, and make the firstof several trajectory control maneuvers to maintain a course to Mars.Throughout Phoenix's cruise to the red planet, the team will perform round theclock monitoring of the spacecraft, and will maintain command and control ofthe spacecraft during its entire mission. The team will also work hand-in-handwith the Science Operation Center based at the University of Arizona's Lunarand Planetary Laboratory.
"Landing on Mars is the most challenging critical event we execute inplanetary exploration," said Tim Gasparrini, deputy program manager for Phoenix entry, decent and landing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company."Now that we are safely on the way to Mars, our entry, decent and landing teamwill draw upon our decades of experience in exploring the universe and focusits energy on a successful landing and surface science operations."
The Phoenix mission is led by Principal Investigator Peter Smith of theUniversity of Arizona, Tucson , with project management at NASA's JetPropulsion Laboratory, Pasadena , and development partnership, and flightoperations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver . Internationalcontributions are provided by the Canadian Space Agency, the University ofNeuchatel ( Switzerland ), the University of Copenhagen ( Denmark ), the MaxPlanck Institute ( Germany ) and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of LockheedMartin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a fullspectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil andcommercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; afull range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communicationssatellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft;laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technologysystems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of