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 a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planet's geology and radiation environment.
Delta II is an American space launch system developed by McDonnell Douglas, now part of the Delta rocket family operated by United Launch Alliance. With more than 150 missions and a nearly perfect track record, Delta II has established itself as one of the most successful orbital launch systems.See Delta Details
United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. ULA launches from both coasts of the US. They launch their Atlas V vehicle from LC-41 in Cape Canaveral and LC-3E at Vandeberg. Their Delta IV launches from LC-37 at Cape Canaveral and LC-6 at Vandenberg.INFO WIKI
The map could help the agency decide where the first astronauts to the Red Planet should land. The more available water, the less missions will need to bring.
NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter has been studying the Red Planet for the past 22 years, but the orbiter is approaching the end of its mission as its running low on fuel.
The missions will continue collecting data about the Red Planet, though engineers back on Earth will stop sending commands to them until mid-October.