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Mars Odyssey

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2001 Mars Odyssey is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. 2001 Mars Odyssey launched on April 7, 2001, and arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001.

Odyssey's primary science mission took place February 2002 through August 2004, and the orbiter began its extended mission on August 24, 2004. For the first time, the mission mapped the amount and distribution of chemical elements and minerals that make up the martian surface. The spacecraft globally mapped many elements, and the maps of hydrogen distribution led scientists to discover vast amounts of water ice in the polar regions burried just beneath the surface. Odyssey recorded the radiation environment in low Mars orbit to determine the radiation-related risk to any future human explorers who may one day go to Mars. All of these objectives support the four science goals of the Mars Exploration Program.


Photo of Sylvain Piqueux
Sylvain Piqueux
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres
Photo of Jeffrey Plaut
Jeffrey Plaut
Planetary Interiors and Geophysics - Mars Odyssey Project Scientist, MARSIS Co-PI, RIME Co-PI