Mars, Ho! NASA Science

Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Since then it has traveled 460 million kilometers — an interplanetary journey that has gone “flawlessly.” Other than our Moon, Mars has attracted more spacecraft than any other object in the solar system — and no other planet has proved as daunting to success. Of the 30 missions sent to Mars by three countries over 40 years, less than one-third have been successful. Scientists, mission controllers, and Mars enthusiasts everywhere hope Odyssey will become one of the exceptional spacecraft that make it.