Thursday, April 07, 2011

Mars Odyssey 10 Years Old This Week!

NASA's Mars Odyssey entered it's 10th year of continuous operation this week, making it the oldest orbital spacecraft still exploring the red planet, according to NASA's website.

According to the NASA release some of Odyssey's duties included:
  • a communication relay, handling most of the data sent home by Phoenix and NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Odyssey became the middle link for continuous observation of Martian weather by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Check out the release on the NASA site here


Dave Tackett said...

It's always impressive when NASA missions like this outlive their primary missions. Mars Odyssey's primary mission ended in August 2004 and the mission could have been considered a success if it had ended the day after that. Instead, it's given more than five years of bonus science.

Beam Me Up said...

I am sure glad that NASA is at least ostensibly is leaving the use it and then throw it away mentality. Extended missions or re-purposing them is the cheapest way to do science remotely.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if it didnt have another ten years left in it. Considering that we still have craft that have been in service for over 40 years and are still operational...well past their mission objectives, there is something to aim for.