Artist's View of Odyssey Detecting Ice



This artist's rendering portrays ice-rich layers in the soils of Mars being detected by instruments aboard NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Measurements by the gamma ray spectrometer suite of instruments indicate that the upper meter (three feet) of soil contains an ice-rich zone with an ice abundance of 20 to 50 percent by mass. The ice-rich areas surround the polar regions of Mars, down to latitudes of about 60 degrees, in both the north and the south. The instruments detect the signature of hydrogen, indicating water ice, to a depth of about one meter (three feet). It is not known whether or how deep the ice-rich zone continues below that depth. The view of the spacecraft in this artist's rendering is not to scale, as the observations are obtained from an orbital altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles).



Includes a border on all sides to allow for matting and framing.