NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will today mark its 3,340th day making observations of the Red Planet, longer than any other spacecraft in history.
After entering Mars' orbit on October 24, 2001, the spacecraft has made countless contributions to space exploration.
In early 2002, Odyssey detected hydrogen just below the surface along the planet's high-latitude regions.
Hypothesizing that the hydrogen is in frozen water, NASA sent the Phoenix missions to confirm the suspicion, a fact which was authenticated in 2008.
Further research contributions included the spacecraft assessing the possibility of human occupation of Mars by taking readings on radiation levels at potentially habitable sites to aid in the planning of future maned missions.
Here, formation of the nearby Elysium Volcanic field has created fault lines on Mars, and may have contributed to the release of pressurized underground water, which the Odyssey confirmed.