2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and electronic imagers to hunt for evidence of past or present water and volcanic activity on Mars. It is hoped that the data Odyssey obtains will help answer the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars. It also acts as a relay for communications between the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix lander to Earth. The mission was named as a tribute to Arthur C. Clarke, evoking the name of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cospar ID


Launch Date

2001-04-07 15:02:22 UTC

Carrier Rocket

Delta II 7425

Orbital Insertion Date

2001-10-24 02:18:00 UTC

Orbital Elements

Semimajor Axis 3785 km (~400 km above surface)

Eccentricity 0.0115

Inclination 93.2 degrees

Orbital Period 1.964 hours