Friday, June 06, 2008

Phoenix on Mars

NASA have just launch the Phoenix mission to Mars, to look for evidence of water, and the possibility of micro organisms, i.e. life! To that end, they sent it to the north pole of Mars, in the hope that it can find some ice, then test it and see if there are any organisms in it.

Guess what? They only seemed to have landed on ice itself! lol Just under the surface, but the descent rockets blew it all away, revealling the ice underneath lol

Oh, and the Mars Orbiter only managed to photo Phoenix descending to Mars underneath its parachute! *


In this sweeping view, the 10 kilometer-wide crater Heimdall lies on the north polar plains of Mars. But the bright spot highlighted in the inset is the Phoenix lander parachuting toward the surface. The amazing picture was captured on May 25th by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Though the lander looks like it might be dropping straight into Heimdall, it is really descending about 20 kilometers in front of the crater, in the foreground of the scene. The orbiter was 760 kilometers away from Phoenix when picture was taken, at an altitude of 310 kilometers. Subsequently the orbiter's camera was also able to image the lander on the surface. The parachute attached to the backshell and the heat shield were identified in the image, scattered nearby


Alexander said...

Did you watch that In the Shadow of the moon movie documentary on Channel 4 recently? Very beautiful and inspiring. If you missed it, the link above has it on the net.

Martin said...

I did watch it! It was beautiful and fantastic :) TV at its best.