2001 Mars Odyssey has contributed numerous science results. It has mapped the amount and distribution of chemical elements and minerals that make up the Martian surface. Maps of hydrogen distribution led scientists to discover vast amounts of water ice in the polar regions buried just beneath the surface. Odyssey has also 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.
The Mars Odyssey orbiter is part of a series of expeditions to the red planet that help meet the four main science goals of the Mars Exploration Program:
2001 Mars Odyssey intends to meet these goals by accomplishing five specific objectives.