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Mars Odyssey sets longevity record
Posted: Fri, Dec 17, 2010, 7:53 AM ET (1253 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft set a new record this week as the longest-running spacecraft at Mars. The spacecraft broke the record set by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft by entering its 3,340th day in orbit around Mars on Wednesday. Mars Odyssey, which launched in 2001, has studied the planet's surface and atmosphere from orbit, including detecting subsurface concentrations of hydrogen believed to be water ice, a finding later confirmed by the Phoenix Mars Lander. Mars Odyssey also has served as a communications relay for Phoenix and the rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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