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#26 2005-06-03 04:14:04

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

[color=#810541:post_uid5]Mission is a definite "GO"

*Preparing for August 2007 launch.  :up:

--Cindy

::EDIT::

SpaceNut:

While a much older thread 2007 Mars Scout does exist this is the newer of them for this post.[/quote:post_uid5]

The thread you refer to concerned 4 then-candidate missions.  Mark S wrote the following in 2002, on creating that thread:

With little fanfare, NASA selected four candidates for the 2007 Mars Scout missions.  The most exciting of the bunch is SCIM, which will bring a sample of Mars's atmosphere back to earth.[/quote:post_uid5]

This thread -- Phoenix:  Mars 2007 -- is specific to this mission.

Oddly, though, Phoenix -is- mentioned in the former thread (as one of the candidates), but when I searched for "Phoenix" and used the "at the beginning" option (prior to creating this thread), it didn't come up.  The Search feature is imperfect, although it usually does work very well.  Hmmmmm.  And I didn't remember the former thread.[/color:post_uid5]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#27 2005-06-03 05:46:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,741

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

The cost of the Phoenix mission is $386 million, which includes the launch[/quote:post_uid0]

Wow and thats on a Delta II which costs, Launch Price $: 60.00 million. in 1999 price dollars from the astronautix page.

Boeing Delta II page

Found a map for all world launch sites.

This same rocket has been a major work horse for many missions including deep impact.[/color:post_uid0]

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#28 2005-08-31 07:27:43

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Update

*No airbags for this baby's landing.  Mentions the deck is the size of a breakfast table (4 feet).  Two solar panels will unfurl like a Chinese fan.  Of course Phoenix will be stationary (that's an odd concept...why not allow it to move?) and will have an 8-foot long robotic arm.

Check out Images, etc. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#29 2005-08-31 09:01:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,741

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

University of Arizona mission page
Phoenix Mission gets thumbs up to prepare for 2007 launch.

science instruments aboard Phoenix

Hopefully the G sensor is not installed wrong like it was in the Genesis or the retro rockets for landing will not go off at the right time during its descent and will crash land instead.

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#30 2005-10-28 08:11:07

SpaceNut
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Canadian weather station to look for signs of life on Mars

A Canadian-designed weather station will play a lead role in answering questions of geology and climate. The Phoenix weather station is part of NASA's $465-million project, a scout mission to Mars.

"Before we send humans, we really need to understand the atmosphere of Mars so we can see the things that could be dangerous for humans,"

This is the instrument that will gather the data on climate:

Lidar is a key technology on the station that will measure clouds and water vapour, beaming the data back to Earth. Lidar works on the same principle as sonar, but uses lasers instead of sound.

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#31 2006-03-24 09:49:49

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Now this thread deserves an update!

Phoenix is the next mission to Mars. It is approved and fully funded and on target for launch 2 Aug 2007.

It is also good to see the Project engineers and scientists blogging read them here

Project homepage


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#32 2006-04-06 06:43:59

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

h_phoenix_cleanroom_02.jpg

Components awaiting assembly at Lockheed Martin Space Systems

New Space.com article on the status of Phoenix

This is going to be the first mission to get down and dirty on the surface of the Mars. With all due respect to the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers…we’re going to get muddy.


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#33 2006-04-27 05:02:53

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Update from Spaceflight Now

"The propulsion system and the wiring harness have been added to the vehicle," said Ed Sedivy, Phoenix program manager for Lockheed Martin. "We will be loading flight software onto the flight computer in the next few days. The flight software is much more mature than typical for a planetary program at this stage. As soon as the flight computer is mated up, we can apply external power to the vehicle."

Navigation components, such as star trackers, and communication subsystems will become part of the spacecraft in coming weeks, followed by science instruments in the summer.

Phoenix will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in May 2007


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#34 2006-06-20 02:01:34

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

aad.jpg

PITting Phoenix for science payload instruments.

"The PIT is a complete test environment that will allow us to test all of the commands that will be sent to the lander," SOC Manager Chris Shinohara said. "The PIT allows us to have a dedicated testbed for testing science instruments so we can verify how we will operate them on the surface of Mars."

The 2,500-square-foot PIT doesn't look much like the Red Planet yet. But by fall, the 30-inch-high, 1,600-square-foot mock lander platform will sport terrain fashioned from painted drop cloths, a Mars crater, a dust devil and other Martian features.

The mock lander is perched next to a 16-foot by 8-foot digging slot. Technicians will slide bins of prepared soil into the slot in tests of the robotic arm.


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#35 2006-08-09 16:32:27

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

New blog update from the principal investigator Peter Smith on 8 Aug 2006:

Today, the countdown clock reads T - 1 year to launch and counting.
...
Two days ago, Ray Arvidson chaired a landing site working group and updated us on the latest plans for choosing a landing site on the northern plains. Our latitude boundaries have been fixed between 65 and 72 N for a long time and at our last meeting we limited the longitudinal boundaries to between 120 and 140 E.


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#36 2006-08-10 09:47:58

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Astrobiology interview Aug 10, 2006 with  Chris McKay, a co-investigator for Phoenix and MSL.

... the north is more interesting, because it is more likely to have had liquid water at the surface in the more recent past. In the north I think we’re seeing young ice.


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#37 2006-08-22 10:16:39

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Astrobiology interview Aug 10, 2006 with  Chris McKay, a co-investigator for Phoenix and MSL.

... the north is more interesting, because it is more likely to have had liquid water at the surface in the more recent past. In the north I think we’re seeing young ice.

great interview !


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#38 2006-09-14 12:31:09

cIclops
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#39 2006-10-17 08:12:38

SpaceNut
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Thanks to this test image by the HiRISE camera of the pole.

NASA studies Mars water in hope of mission

Images taken during a test of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's instruments showed clay-rich areas that could have supported life and frost, and layered deposits of ice and dirt at the polar ice cap indicate "dynamic climate changes" as recently as 100,000 years ago,

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#40 2006-10-19 11:18:20

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

l29842-1.jpg
Model of the lander at an exhibition in Tucson

Image from:  See Mars - on 6th Ave (Tucson Citizen article)


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#41 2006-11-02 09:52:18

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

instruments.jpg
Top view of spacecraft

CSS - Coarse Sun Sensor
FC – Framing Camera
GRaND - Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector
RWA - Reaction Wheel Assemblies
ST - Star Tracker
VIR - Visible InfraRed mapping spectrometer

Science update October 2006


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#42 2006-11-16 08:19:16

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Interview with Carol Stocker in Astrobiology Magazine Nov 15, 2006 - Stoker is on the Phoenix Imaging Systems team.

Selecting the landing site is largely based on finding places where it will be safe to land, but another key factor has been selecting a site where there’s ground ice. Mars Odyssey discovered there’s near-surface ground ice virtually everywhere in the northern plains north of 60 degrees, and to a large extent the choice of a landing site for the Phoenix mission is driven by that discovery. The actual landing site will be chosen to optimize both the amount of ice and the depth below the surface at which that ice occurs.


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#43 2006-11-25 11:39:45

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Boulders dash hopes for Mars landing site

HiRISE can resolve boulders just under 1 metre in diameter. But smaller rocks can pose a risk. "Our lander needs to stay away from rocks that are even a third of a metre across," Smith (Principal Investigator) told New Scientist. The boulders cannot be avoided simply by steering away from them during the descent due to the time it takes commands from Earth to reach Mars. The landing ellipse that Phoenix will aim for during its descent is larger, measuring 120 km by 20 km. There could be many of these boulder clusters within that ellipse. "There are ways to avoid boulders but we don't have them," Smith says. "I wish we did now." Even after landing, boulders still pose a problem. The lander's two solar arrays unfold like Chinese fans. "If boulders are around, we can slap it right into that," Smith says. And the arrays are crucial for providing power to the lander.

The five potential landing regions are quite similar to one another. The general terrain is very flat, so there is little danger of the lander touching down on a steep hill and toppling over, unless one of its legs gets caught on a boulder. All of the potential landing sites have polygonal features on their surface, probably caused by the expansion and contraction of ice beneath the surface. The five regions were chosen because they all fall within the 65° to 72° north latitude band specified for this mission and because there is a good chance of water ice being near the surface.


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#44 2006-12-01 10:16:06

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)


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#45 2006-12-08 09:58:09

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Detailed Look at the Next Mars Lander - space.com

Being paid added attention by mission engineers are the descent rocket engines on Phoenix—twelve in number that are clustered in three locations that rapid fire with different lengths of pulses. They must perform over the last 35 seconds, right after parachute release, allowing the craft to slow itself down for a soft landing on martian real estate.

A special Phoenix hot-fire test program was set up at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Those trial runs stressed the propulsion system giving engineers vital insight about the structural and operational integrity of the Phoenix spacecraft.

Cox said that the lengthy test activity—with valves opening and closing, hydrazine fuel coursing through spacecraft plumbing under high pressure, along with the chatter and vibration created by thrusting rocket engines—has bolstered confidence that the motors for controlled descent of Phoenix can function as billed.

The hot-firings of the Phoenix terminal descent propulsion system proved highly beneficial, Sedivy added, to "learn what we needed to learn." The tests helped tackle and mitigate a top risk in reaching Mars safe and sound.

First night

Indeed, gently setting Phoenix down on Mars is tricky. There are lots of onboard real-time thinking needed during entry, descent and landing, such as: Handling winds when on main parachute, turning on broad-beam radar hardware, warming up engines and aligning center of mass with a velocity vector. Phoenix must then make a gravity turn for pointing outstretched legs toward Mars…while sensing where the Sun is for proper orientation of solar arrays when unfurled on the planet.

The hydrazine-fed engines on Phoenix are turned off when sensors located on the footpads of the lander detect touchdown.


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#46 2006-12-08 16:22:35

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

It just occured to me the sheer coincidence this probe has of being named Phoenix and being conceived of in the University of Arizona  tongue

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#47 2006-12-19 06:23:52

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

vid_lander2.jpg

Checkout the videos, in particular:

Rough-Cut Entry, Descent, and Landing Animation  (Dan Maas)


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#48 2006-12-28 05:41:52

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Ending 2006 update from the mission Principal Investigator

Ending 2006
by Peter Smith
December 22, 2006

As 2006 comes to a close, I think back over the events that leave us poised for the final march to launch in August.  The spacecraft is currently in a vacuum chamber at Lockheed Martin in Denver where is it withstanding the harsh conditions that it will experience during the cruise to Mars.  After all, if some system of the spacecraft is ill qualified to withstand these conditions we want it to break now so that we can fix the problem.  So far, due to the diligence and dedication of the Lockheed engineering team there are only very minor problems that have occurred and they are easily fixed.  The Denver team has persevered despite 2 feet of snow this week that has made travel either dangerous or impossible.  The JPL team is carefully monitoring progress and checking to make sure that all requirements that have been placed on the spacecraft have been met or exceeded.

Early in 2007 we will repeat the environmental test with the spacecraft in its landed configuration under a Martian environment. Afterwards, we have a chance to upgrade our scientific instruments to their flight condition before finally enclosing the spacecraft in preparation for shipment to Cape Canaveral in Florida.  The instrument groups are all hard at work finishing the final touches to meet this last chance.  The science team is watching these final adjustments carefully to ensure that we get the best possible measurements returned from the Mars.  After all, this may be the last mission to the exciting polar region for a long time. Speaking of science return, our landing site working group is busy analyzing the magnificent images that are being returned from the HiRISE experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  The first look in October showed that boulder fields were common in some of the areas that we thought would make good landing sites.  We are now discovering some low rock-density areas and planning to make our final selection by June.

The next year will see the completion of planning and training for the landed phase in the summer of 2008.  Our surface operations center in Tucson is fully functional now with engineering models of all the instruments being tested.  The first trenches were dug by the the robotic arm this month in preparation for scooping and delivering samples for our on-deck instruments.  The cruise and landing control rooms are being configured at Lockheed and JPL.  Landing safely remains our number one risk for the mission and is labeled the "six minutes of terror" for good reason.

Phoenix is technically sound and on schedule for launch in less than 225 days.  All in all it has been a great year.  I expect an better year in 2007 and wish the same for all of you.


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#49 2007-01-09 13:01:39

cIclops
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Update from MEPAG - 9 January 2007 (live blog)

Peter Smith - Phoenix Update

Overview of lander- able to dig, provide weather conditions, imagery - descent, panoramic, on arm, microscope scale of 10 km down to 10 nm - ten orders of magnitude across imagery system.

We had a panic attack two years ago that we would not be able to scrape samples. So we put a power tool - a rasp - on the end of the arm. This is the sort of tool people use to make ice sculptures. Showed recent images of tests where samples were taken at -90C. RASP under development for 2 years.

Spacecraft hardware currently undergoing ATLO process. Cruise thermal vaccum testing surface deployment test, etc. End of Feb./early March we will do surface thermal and vacuum test. Engineering qualification models currently on spacecraft. Flight models will be added soon. 205 days to launch. Ship to KSC in May.

Significant issues with radar. Issues being dealt with by Red Team for past 6 months. Drop tests in October were successful. New flight models are due this month and we shoudl be confident that our radar is ready for flight. Coating on backshell cracked during testing. We will probably scrape it off and add new insulation coating.

Landing site - we are going to land in a place where boulders greater than 30 cm are not found in abundance - the height of the spacecraft's deck above the gorund. You cannot really see this size rock from MRO - but you can see larger ones - and using Viking lander 2 surface and MRO imagery we can interpolate down to the number of smaller sized rocks. We also need to avoid larger craters and steeply sloped terrain.

Smith showed a "Happy Haloween" card from the HiRise team with large boulders at the original landing site. He later got a "Happy New Year" card from the team that shows a location mostly devoid of these rocks.

Our goal is to understand ice - and we will land where Odyssey has discovered ice. Landing in polygonal terrain would be a plus. Image of landing site shows polygonal patterns that are devoid of larger rocks. Polygonal terrain has gentle slopes - based on imagery analysis. Lander can handle 16 degrees.

Showed Odyssey-derived ice map. Decided to go with Region B - best ice vs soil balance. Talked about landing site selelction. Soil cools faster than rocks. Used themral imaging to identify candidate sites - sites which are now being examined by MRO. Changes to another region can be made at TCM-1 - 6 days after launch. Changes within a box within a region can be made at TCM-2.

Landing planned for 25 May 2008.


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#50 2007-01-31 11:18:58

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Mars mission clears hurdle; Phoenix project proceeds despite cost overruns

Phoenix mission to Mars just dodged a lethal bullet.
Mission leaders survived a "termination review" in Washington, D.C., on Friday

Phoenix mission costs were supposed to be capped at $386 million.

But unexpected problems cropped up, and Smith said his team will need $10 million to $35 million more.

The Phoenix cost overruns were caused in part by problems with the craft's radar altimeter. As Phoenix descends toward Mars, the device determines the probe's altitude and velocity.

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