Phoenix Lands Today!

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Here's the original thread in the General Astronomy section... https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=236811

NASA TV will also be broadcasting the coverage from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In the mean time they're having astronauts show what life is like of the ISS... neat personal perspective... http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Here's two informative Youtube videos detailing the mission...




I'm hoping that there won't be much hydrazine contamination form the thrusters. Dig deep!
 
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  • #2
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A lot of my friends at UA are involved with it and they've got their fingers crossed!
 
  • #3
cristo
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Cheers for the NASA link; I'll be sure to watch!
 
  • #4
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T-9 minutes!
 
  • #5
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And she's landed! :biggrin:
 
  • #6
turbo
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I've got a young friend at UA in the astronomy program, and I've yet to get feedback from him. His mom was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so he's got a lot more to worry about than this project, but he is a fire-ball.
 
  • #7
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Alright!

Even though i'm not involved, after following the program for so long, ... I shed a little tear.:approve:
 
  • #8
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If anyone has any connections (moose, Turbo-1), when you speak with your friends, see if you can find out how far off the lander is from the projected ground zero. I know it's well within, just wondering exactly how off it is.

*edit* Nevermind, Odyssey hasn't even flown over yet. They'll probably announce it with the post-landing conference anyway.
 
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  • #9
turbo
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Yep! Odyssey will clue us in pretty soon, and we should get a check-up on the lander's status, then the UA team will begin directing the data-gathering for the science end of the mission. Being at a polar latitude, the lander won't be able to survive like the rovers due to the lack of solar flux. We have a relatively narrow window for science.
 
  • #10
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True. I'm hoping we'll be able to actually snap a picture of a dust devil if it comes fairly close... hopefully not too close though, considering what i've been reading about their possible static electrical factor.
 
  • #11
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http://fawkes1.lpl.arizona.edu/images/gallery/md_309.jpg [Broken]
 
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  • #12
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Barren, yet beautiful!

Current image archive...
http://fawkes1.lpl.arizona.edu/images.php?gID=309&cID=7 [Broken]
 
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  • #13
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I'm watching the show on the Science Channel now.
 
  • #14
Gokul43201
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So who else has a new wallpaper?
 
  • #15
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  • #16
Mk
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Well, even if Jupiter and Saturn are gaseous, there are certain features that have been around for a while and that can be marked.
 
  • #17
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True, I just find it a bit odd that they would develop maps for planets where the only notable features are eddies... which are constantly moving and changing positions. The bands pretty much do stay put though. I would have expected maps for Mercury or Venus at least.
 
  • #18
Alfi
Well done NASA
very well done.

Now I hope that some definitive evidence of life will be found

Just to mess up the religions :)
 
  • #19
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  • #20
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It seems the 'footprints' are more likely to be a side effect of the thruster blast as the landers foot pads don't have that kind of shape. Here's a high res picture for comparison...

http://claudelafleur.qc.ca/images/Phoenix-lander.jpg

Even though the media seems to be overly concerned with the why the lander is off from it's mark, I still think it's incredible that it's as close as it is. I actually think it's amazing that this is the only aspect that didn't follow with 100% accuracy... comparing it to previous lander missions.

Some questions on my mind...
When the batteries are fully drained due to lack of sunlight and the heaters then subsequently fail, what equipment will potentially be damaged?

Once the batteries are completely drained, would it be possible for them to be recharged?

When the sunlight returns again, could the solar panels recharge the batteries, or is a slight power source required for the charging process? Could the panels even put out this kind of power? (Thinking along the lines of attempting to start an automobile with just a 9V battery.)
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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if you look real close, there's some four (?) toed footprints in the lower left corner
:rofl: The best evidence suggests that the first large Martians were robots.
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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So who else has a new wallpaper?
And replace my Hubble Deep-Field image? :eek: I prefer to start each day by looking into a time machine.
 
  • #23
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  • #24
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I think I (IF I had a 'say') had a site to choose, it would have been in the 'temperate' regions of Mars---somewhere where the temperatures vary but still where there is a chance of liquid water coming to the surface. 'Frozen' ground on Mars is like landing in a permanent Antarctica...
 
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  • #25
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I think I (IF I had a 'say') had a site to choose, it would have been in the 'temperate' regions of Mars---somewhere where the temperatures vary but still where there is a chance of liquid water coming to the surface. 'Frozen' ground on Mars is like landing in a permanent Antarctica...
It was a balance of factors. The reason they chose that spot it due to the Fall/Winter transition that Turbo mentioned. The area that the lander is sitting on now is expected to covered up to a depth of around three to four feet in CO2 ice. In other words, it's in a neat transitional area. And just like Prof. Peter Smith stated, the ice underground in that region should contain an evolutionary record of Mars's atmosphere and weather conditions AND potentially find life or the past presence of. It's a mission of multiple intents and not JUST about the possibility of past life as the media is concentrating on. The geological and atmospheric data will be an entire league of it's own. It's a compromise really. That and with the amount of data we've accumulated thus far, it's the most likely place to find water.

I, for one, would looove to see a mission to the Tharsis region using a probe loaded with geological instruments... such as those tailored to detect seismic activity.
 
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