Mars Odyssey to voyage into future New Scientist

NASA’s Mars Odyssey mission, originally scheduled to end on Tuesday, has been granted a stay of execution until at least September 2006, reveal NASA scientists. The spacecraft has returned a string of important discoveries about the Red Planet since its launch in 2001, and has been pivotal in the success of the recent Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. NASA has agreed to fund the mission at $15 million a year for a further two years – the equivalent of three-quarters of Odyssey’s original budget.