Did you know that the robotic spacecraft the Odyssey was launched today from Cape Canaveral, in 2001? It took about 6 months to reach Mars. It has been in operation for more than 5,000 days! The Odyssey was sent to study the presence of current or past water on Mars, Mars’ geology, and radiation. This data will be used to study possible life on Mars and analyze the radiation risk to astronauts on Mars. Now, the Odyssey also serves as a communication relay for the Mars Rovers.
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The spacecraft was named Odyssey in honor of Arthur C. Clarke’s work 2001: A Space Odyssey. The spacecraft is known as the 2001 Mars Odyssey.