NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter arrived at Mars on Oct. 24, 2001. Displayed is an illustration of some of the highlights of the spacecraft in the last 20 years

October 20, 2021

NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter arrived at Mars on Oct. 24, 2001.

Over the past two decades, the mission has mapped the composition of the Martian surface, providing a window to the past so scientists could piece together how the planet evolved. It has also served as a vital asset in relaying communications between landers and rovers at the Red Planet and the mission teams back on Earth.

Here are some of the highlights of the last 20 years:

  • Mars Odyssey has completed 80,000 orbits.
  • Mars Odyssey has taken more than 1.2 million images.
  • Mars Odyssey has returned 16 terabits of total science data to Earth, including 1 terabit of data relayed from Mars surface missions.
  • Mars Odyssey has provided communications relay for six Mars surface missions: the Phoenix and InSight landers, as well as the Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Odyssey Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft and collaborates with JPL in mission operations. For more information about Odyssey, visit:


You Might Also Like