Numerous wind-sculpted sand dunes resemble an abstract painting in a 2006 Mars Odyssey picture.
Odyssey was originally commissioned for only a three-year mission, but NASA has extended the probe's working life span three times now, most recently in October.
The spacecraft is now slated to operate through 2012, and there is a good possibility its mission could be extended again to aid NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, nicknamed "Curiosity," which is scheduled to land on the planet in August 2012.
Odyssey currently serves as a communications relay station for NASA's Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and it could provide the same service for Curiosity, NASA's Plaut said.
"It's quite likely that if the spacecraft is healthy, we'll continue operating for at least a few more years" after 2012, he added.
(Also see "Snow Falling on Mars 'Seen' by NASA Lander.")