Fri, Aug 27, 2004
Mars Odyssey Mission Extended
What do you do if you're NASA's Mars orbiter and you've finished
your mission? You keep going, of course.
Mars Odyssey has been orbiting and mapping the Red Planet since
early 2002. Tuesday, the orbiter finished its assigned tasks. Now,
NASA has forked over another $35 million -- on top of the $297
million spent during the mission itself -- to extend Odyssey's
Odyssey has already sent back startling information about the
presence of water under the Martian surface. It uncovered evidence
that Mars is in the midst of a massive climate change and made the
most detailed maps of the Martian surface ever seen.
Now, the orbiter will go to work spotting possible landing sites
for another lander, scheduled to reach Mars in 2008 and will
continue to monitor the atmosphere in advance of another orbiter's
arrival in 2006.
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