John

NASA’s Phoenix Lands On Mars. Kickass pictures returned.

In Geek Stuff, News on May 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm

pic source: BBC

The BBC reports:

A Nasa spacecraft has sent back historic first pictures of an unexplored region of Mars.

The Mars Phoenix lander touched down in the far north of the Red Planet, after a 680 million-km (423 million-mile) journey from Earth.

The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water-ice thought to be buried beneath the surface.

The Nasa team monitored each stage of the descent and landing process through radio messages relayed to Earth via the Odyssey satellite in orbit around Mars.

“In my dreams, it couldn’t have gone as perfectly as it did tonight,” said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at JPL.

Nasa found out more about the landing when pictures from the probe reached the Earth.

The first images showed the “Arctic plain” where Phoenix came to rest – a region of Mars that has never been seen up close before.

Other shots confirmed that the probe’s solar arrays had unfurled successfully, and that it had landed safely on its legs.

The pictures returned are truly awe inspiring. Thank you NASA.

click for full size.

Additional pictures of Mars and the Phoenix Lander.

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