In the middle of next week, NASA interplanetary probe Mars Odyssey spacecraft will become the longest in the working or on Mars. Announced that Chief of Mission Jeffrey Plaut Mars Odyssey from the Laboratory for the current drive (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Mars Odyssey came into orbit around Mars 24 October 2001. On Wednesday, 15 december there will complete the 3340 days. This surpasses the previous record, also held by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor. She also studied Mars from orbit, from 11 September 1997 to 2 November 2006.
The primary mission of Mars Odyssey closed in 2004. Probe during it recorded several groundbreaking achievements: discovered subsurface ice and explore the planet’s radiation. This is necessary when considering any manned flights to Mars.
Invaluable results, however, also brought six years of the extended mission. “These additional years allowed us to draw maps with the highest resolution, which now cover virtually the entire planet,” said Jeffrey Plaut. Images from the cameras come THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System).
Also extended the mission to monitor the seasonal changes from one Martian year (which is 687 Earth days) to another. For example, found a surprisingly regular freeze carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in polar regions during winter.
Remains as a backup
Mars Odyssey, however, during the mission contributed to the success of other Martian missions. Thanks to her work could also serve the mission of Spirit and Opportunity and the Mars Phoenix.
The probe also has become part of a long-term monitoring of weather on Mars, which since 1997 continuously provide and ensure that NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter (which began work in late 2006).
Moreover, Mars Odyssey will be in midfield as a replacement for other communication system robotic research vehicle Curiosity, which has to land on Mars in August 2012th