2001 Mars Odyssey
April 7, 2001
October 24, 2001
Still in orbit around Mars, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft has collected more than 130,000 images and continues to send information to Earth about Martian geology, climate, and mineralogy.
Measurements by Odyssey have enabled scientists to create maps of minerals and chemical elements and identify regions with buried water ice. Images that measure the surface temperature have provided spectacular views of Martian topography. Odyssey is currently supporting landing site selection for the Phoenix Scout Mission, to be launched in 2007.
Early in the mission, Odyssey determined that radiation in low-Mars orbit -- an essential piece of information for eventual human exploration because of its potential health effects -- is twice that in low-Earth orbit. Odyssey has provided vital support to ongoing exploration of Mars by relaying data from the Mars rovers to Earth via the spacecraft's UHF antenna.