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NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter simply reached a significant milestone

NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter.
NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter. NASA

NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter is one in every of seven at present circling the crimson planet (three of them belonging to NASA), capturing imagery and performing duties from method as much as assist scientists be taught extra in regards to the fourth planet from the solar.

On Sunday, the Mars Odyssey Orbiter accomplished 100,000 orbits since arriving on the distant rock 23 years in the past.

“During that time, the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter has been mapping minerals and ice across the Martian surface, identifying landing sites for future missions, and relaying data to Earth from NASA’s rovers and landers,” NASA said in a put up on its web site marking the milestone. Those rovers and landers embrace the still-operating Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, and NASA’s InSight lander, which communicated with the orbiter for the ultimate time on the finish of December 2022 after 4 years of service.

The Odyssey Orbiter additionally lately captured a new view of Mars’ Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano within the photo voltaic system. “Besides providing an unprecedented view of the volcano, the image helps scientists study different layers of material in the atmosphere, including clouds and dust,” NASA stated.

The orbiter even managed to photograph NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which grew to become the primary plane to attain powered and managed flight on one other planet in 2021 earlier than ending operations earlier this 12 months.

Over the final couple of many years, the Mars Odyssey Orbiter has captured some 1.4 million photos and beamed again to scientists a large 17.1 terabits of information.

“It takes careful monitoring to keep a mission going this long while maintaining a historical timeline of scientific planning and execution — and innovative engineering practices,” stated Odyssey’s mission supervisor, Joseph Hunt, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which oversees the Odyssey mission, including: “We’re looking forward to collecting more great science in the years ahead.”

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