Mars Odyssey


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Mars Odyssey

A US probe, launched Apr. 7 2001, that was part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term series of crewless investigations of Mars. It reached Mars in Oct. 2001 and commenced its primary mission to map the chemical makeup of the planet and scout out likely places where water or ice might be found by future probes searching for evidence of past life. Odyssey's primary mission ended on Aug. 24 2004 after well over 10 000 orbits, and it embarked upon an extended mission. During its first 34 months in orbit, Odyssey discovered ice just below the surface at the Martian poles and investigated the radiation environment in low Mars orbit, thereby aiding the assessment of radiation risk to future human spaceflight missions to the planet. In addition to its science activities, Odyssey served as a communications relay for the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. It would continue this role during its extended mission.
References in periodicals archive ?
The only way a safe-landing confirmation can arrive during that first opportunity is via a relay by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Lockheed Martin was recognized for its program performance on subcontracts including the Desktop Institutional Computing Environment (DICE), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and the Mars Odyssey extended mission operations.
NASA also has two orbiters in operation: the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which uses radar, spectrometers and cameras to analyze surface conditions and weather on the Red Planet; and the 2001 Mars Odyssey, which is searching for evidence of past water or volcanic activity.
And desktop downloaders are sometimes the first to examine the thousands of gigantic, high-resolution images coming back from Mars Odyssey (themis.asu.edu) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (hirise.lpl.arizona.edu), hunting for odd landforms or pretty vistas.
Scientists are also looking at communication problems or technical hitches preventing Beagle 2 from making contact with its temporary relay station, the orbiting Nasa spacecraft Mars Odyssey.
But the scientists had to wait until Mars Odyssey was in position and flying overheadbeforemaking contact.
2001: Nasa's Mars Odyssey surveys the planet's geology from space.
A spectrometer aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft detected olivine in a layer about 7 km below the rim of the canyon Valles Marineris, Christensen reported earlier this year.
Nasa's Mars Odyssey spacecraft is transforming the way scientists are looking at the planet and recent findings have confirmed earlier suspicions that the radiation on Mars is so intense - substantially higher than in low Earth orbit - that it could endanger astronauts sent to explore it.
Their assessment is based on images and topographic data from NASA's Mars Odyssey, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, as well as the European Space Agency's Mars Express Orbiter.
* NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft detected huge deposits of water beneath the surface, across the planet - in the form of ice
Thanks to radio relays provided by the orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), its stereo camera revealed the surrounding landscape to be a flat, sand-and-pebble terrain imprinted with subtle polygon-shaped patterns.