Washington – NASA spacecraft launched 20 years ago, on April 7, is still working at the Red Planet? It takes its name from Arthur C. Clarke’s classic sci-fi novel “2001: A Space Odyssey”, was sent to map the composition of the Martian surface, providing a window to the past so scientists could piece together how the planet evolved. Odyssey’s two decades of data have been a boon for researchers working to determine where water ice is locked up on the planet. Project Scientist Jeffrey Plaut of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which leads the Odyssey mission, said: “Before Odyssey, we didn’t know where this water was stored on the planet. We detected it for the first time from orbit and later confirmed it was there using the Phoenix lander.” The orbiter finds the water ice using its gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) detector, which has proven to be a capable hunter of near-surface hydrogen, a proxy for water ice. The GRS measures the amount of different elements on the Martian surface and also serves as a node in NASA’s interplanetary gamma-ray burst (GRB) detection network, which identifies source locations of GRB’s for follow-up astronomical observations.