The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

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The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Steve James on Sun May 25, 2008 5:24 pm

Just in:
http://blogs.discovery.com/news_space/

NASA’s Phoenix lands safely on Mars
Signals confirm touchdown after ‘seven minutes of terror’

MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 14 minutes ago

PASADENA, California - NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander survived its fiery plunge through the Red Planet's atmosphere in Sunday and made a bull’s-eye touchdown near its north pole.

The robotic craft, designed to dig into the icy soil to determine if the permafrost could have supported primitive life, landed as planned at 7:38 p.m. ET Sunday under a sunny Martian sky. It took another 15 minutes for the radio signals confirming the safe landing to travel the 170 million miles (270 million kilometers) from Mars to Earth.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24811991

Launched last summer, Phoenix traveled 422 million miles (675 million kilometers) over nearly 10 months. Its arrival to the high northern latitudes was closely watched by a trio of Mars orbiters passing overhead.

The successful landing gave NASA a third operating robot on the surface. The rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been exploring the equatorial plains since 2004.

“We told them they’re going to have company,” said the rovers’ chief scientist, Steve Squyres of Cornell University. “This is sort of a distant relative of theirs. So they’re pretty excited about it.”

The $420 million Phoenix mission is led by the University of Arizona and managed by JPL.

Phoenix is equipped with an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) robotic arm capable of digging trenches in the soil to expose ice that is believed to be buried inches to a foot (30 centimeters) deep.

Should it find ice, the lander will analyze dirt and ice samples for traces of organic compounds, the chemical building blocks of life. It will also study whether the ice melted at some point in Mars’ history when the planet was warmer than its current harsh, cold environment.

Scientists do not expect to find water in its liquid form at the Phoenix landing site because it’s too frigid. But they say if raw ingredients of life exist anywhere on the planet, they likely would be preserved in the ice.
Last edited by Steve James on Sun May 25, 2008 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Darth Rock&Roll on Sun May 25, 2008 6:35 pm

phoenix is also carrying a canadian made weather device.

because, it's martian weather that we are concerned about... :D
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby xingyijuan on Sun May 25, 2008 7:48 pm

Darth Rock&Roll wrote:phoenix is also carrying a canadian made weather device.

because, it's martian weather that we are concerned about... :D


Damn! If it's one thing Canadians know about, it's definitely ice!
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Felipe Bidó on Sun May 25, 2008 8:57 pm

Tremendous.

*clap, clap, clap*
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby nianfong on Mon May 26, 2008 3:16 am

sweet! go JPL go!
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Steve James on Mon May 26, 2008 4:36 am

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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Michael on Mon May 26, 2008 5:06 am

I always imagine a couple of Martian yokels walking behind it, staying out of view, elbowing each other and giggling, "Hah, puny humans think all life forms need water and oxygen. Talk about faulty premises!"
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby Steve James on Mon May 26, 2008 8:04 am

Don't laugh, Mike. So far, nobody knows what the white thing sticking up in the background of this picture is.
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Re: The Phoenix has Landed on Mars

Postby michelvandijk on Mon May 26, 2008 9:51 am

It are the remnants of a former european expedition (in the background i mean)


Last edited by michelvandijk on Mon May 26, 2008 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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