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#151 2008-05-06 11:42:43

dmuller
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Thanks for the welcome Vincent and cIclops. Great to be here. "30 secs or even two minutes" may make a big difference if "some folks here start to turn blue" (Apollo 11 landing). Just remember to breathe, folks  lol

As of this post, 19 days 6 hours to landing, distance to fly 36.5 million km, altitude above nominal landing site 4.44 million km.

Go Phoenix!

And yeah, I know the problem with the spammers. An irritating lot.

Daniel


Spaceflight resources to share: Phoenix Real-Time Simulation. More soon ...

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#152 2008-05-06 12:18:23

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Are those simulation times Earth receive time?

Communication will probably be lost during peak heating, so that will cause a shortage of breath.

It seems that there will be UHF contact with MRO/ODY/MEX during EDL. If it's like the MER system, a sequence of tones will signal each step in the landing sequence (chute deploy, heat shield jettison etc etc) waiting for the whole sequence will take about 4 mins after parachute deployment until we know she's on the surface. Plenty of time to go blue even without the extra 2 mins.

Then we have to wait for the next orbiter pass to learn about the initial deployments (solar arrays etc etc), that's when we all pass out :>


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#153 2008-05-06 12:21:54

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

phxconfigurationswh9.jpg
All spacecraft configurations - currently in "Cruise" mode (see photo)

From: Mission Design Overview (PDF 7MB) - 29 Jun 2007


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#154 2008-05-06 12:54:20

dmuller
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From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Are those simulation times Earth receive time?

All times on the real-time simulation for now are spacecraft event time (SCET). Add 920 seconds to get Earth Received Time (ERT). An ERT version of the simulation should be up soon.

I've been told that Phoenix will send near real-time engineering data and first image due 2 hrs 40 minutes after landing. Likely all data through MEX / MRO / ODY since landing is just on the Earth terminator. With three monitoring crafts aloft there shouldnt be too many gaps in the coverage, I hope (dont they have orbital periods of 2 hours or so each?)

But yes plenty of opportunities to go blue. The first one at 6 hours to entry interface when my alarm clock rings at 4am local time to drive to the Canberra DSN station (4 hours drive) to join the folks there  :shock:

Daniel


Spaceflight resources to share: Phoenix Real-Time Simulation. More soon ...

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#155 2008-05-07 03:05:57

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

Thanks. ERT would be very helpful.

MEX has near polar elliptical orbit (10107x298 km) with a period of 6.7 hours
MRO has an almost circular 250x316 kms polar orbit with a 2 hour period
ODY is in a science/relay polar orbit around 400kms also with a period of 2 hours

2:40 hours plus after landing! - then we'll need oxygen tanks shocked.gif.

Does Canberra have the honor of receiving EDL or the first image data?


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#156 2008-05-07 03:12:04

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

226218main_PIA10634-annot-516.jpg

Landing Area Viewed by Mars Color Imager - 6 May 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is scheduled to land on the Martian northern plains near 68 degrees north latitude, 127 degrees west longitude on May 25, 2008. In preparation for the landing, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been monitoring weather in the region around the landing site. On April 20, 2008, the orbiter's Mars Color Imager camera captured this view of a large region of northern Mars that includes the landing target area in the lower right quadrant.

An annotated version of the image indicates the location of the landing ellipse, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) long. The Context Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took an image of the landing area at the same time the Mars Color Imager took this image. A dot within the landing ellipse marks the location of two active dust devils visible in the Context Camera image, PIA10633. When the Mars Color Imager acquired this image, the season in Mars' northern hemisphere was late spring. A few weeks earlier, the Phoenix landing site was still covered with seasonal frost left over from the previous winter.

18 days


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#157 2008-05-07 03:57:42

Vincent
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Posts: 623

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Wow, great image of active weather on Mars. A stormy time for sure. That is the most active frontal boundary I have ever seen on Mars with cyclone induced lift and possible convection. Now I am going to cry because we do not have a weather radar on board.

The huge devils look a good ways north of the landing area and the greatest thermal gradient should continue to lift north.. Wow.

Vincent


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#158 2008-05-07 03:59:08

dmuller
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From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Thanks. ERT would be very helpful.

Will advise once it's up ...

2:40 hours plus after landing!

It does seem a bit odd to me. The way it looks to me is that by then it will be night time at the lander site, but I guess I'm missing something big there

Does Canberra have the honor of receiving EDL or the first image data?

EDL goes through Goldstone. Canberra comes into line of sight (of the relaying spacecrafts) just after landing and will hopefully carry the first image.


Spaceflight resources to share: Phoenix Real-Time Simulation. More soon ...

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#159 2008-05-07 05:27:40

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

It does seem a bit odd to me. The way it looks to me is that by then it will be night time at the lander site, but I guess I'm missing something big there

Does Canberra have the honor of receiving EDL or the first image data?

EDL goes through Goldstone. Canberra comes into line of sight (of the relaying spacecrafts) just after landing and will hopefully carry the first image.

Maybe it's the additive delay of the next relay pass plus the time it takes the relay to see the DSN again, because Mars will have rotated about 30°

What's the first signal Canberra should see?


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#160 2008-05-07 06:11:32

SpaceNut
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Posts: 25,992

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

A hearty welcome dmuller.
A pleasant surprise is the effort from the US neighbors to the north.
[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=4cb1f239-5ecb-4f55-91a8-282e72ae36ea]Canada to make its mark on Mars
Mission to Red Planet carries two devices that were built here[/url]
that will tell scientists about clouds, dust and weather on the Red Planet.


One is called lidar? a radar-like device that shoots pencil-thin laser beams at the atmosphere to study the thin clouds and thicker dust. The shoebox-sized device will scan for dust devils -- swirling squalls of dust. Fine red-brown dust is everywhere on Mars, and it can gum up machinery.

- The other is a mini-weather station. It won't forecast much, but it should give accurate readings of temperature, wind and air pressure day by day in the Martian Arctic.

Both instruments have an official 92-day mission, with hopes of lasting twice that long before winter kills them.

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#161 2008-05-07 11:01:32

Vincent
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From: North Carolina USA
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Posts: 623

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Translation,

Thin clouds and thicker dust. Now lets talk Bias in atmospheric studies.

Swirling squalls of dust, no precipitants?

Mini weather station. Definition- That means it aint much of one.

Don’t go weather boys.

Vincent


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#162 2008-05-07 15:45:10

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Discovery to air Mars landing live - 7 May 2008

by Jonathan Paul

Discovery Channel Canada plans to capture the next milestone in exploration of the Red Planet on May 25 at 7pm ET, when it will present Mars: The Phoenix Lands.

The two-hour special will include live footage as the Phoenix Rover arrives on the planet's surface at 7:46pm ET. The craft will be the first to explore the Martian arctic, and the Phoenix team hopes to uncover clues in the icy soil about the history of near-surface ice and its potential for habitability.

Hosted by Daily Planet's Jay Ingram - who will transmit live on the ground from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California - the special will cover the reactions of international space scientists and chronicle the Rover's development, which was more than nine months in the making.


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#163 2008-05-08 02:16:08

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Two PHX team blogs:

Ready?

by Patrick Woida

May 02, 2008 - We have now completed our ORT10 dress rehearsal. It’s been a long road getting from taking a few days to just get through one day on Mars a year ago to being able to execute day by day the activities we need to do everyday for the mission. Are we 100% ready? I hope not! We are well prepared, I’m told by those with many missions under their belts we’re the best prepared team they’ve ever seen. But if we knew everything that would happen, knew all the answers, there wouldn’t be much point in going. This is a mission of discovery, and I hope no matter how prepared we are that Mars has a few surprises in store. Will it be hard? You can be sure of that! But to evoke Kennedy, “…we don’t go because it’s easy; we go because it’s hard…”

The exercise is very good to train the robot how to work on Mars, and important for the team to learn how to work with that robot millions of miles away. We learn something new every time we shake out our tools, procedures, and personnel. Frankly I needed the ORT to pacify me. I’m getting so impatient to reach Mars. The chance to at least run a few simulated sols is a great way to channel my energy for at least a few days.  Although it went well, a trip to Mars is NEVER a slam dunk, no matter how prepared you are. I find Mars hangs at that point where our reach is about equal to our grasp. Weeks like this one does build confidence for myself and my teammates. We probably never can be ready enough, but from my perspective, we are up to the challenge.

I’m sure Mars doesn’t care what plans we’ve made, he will lead us down a different road than we’ve spent these months rehearsing. That won’t hurt us, it will test us. We have the abilities, we have the passion, we have the means.With only weeks to go, the time is nearly here to unleash this band of explorers to a new frontier.

Back from the PIT, off to Mars

by Mark Lemmon

May 05, 2008 - Another week, another project test. Last week we held ORT 10 in Tucson, Pasadena, and Denver. ORT 10 is the last Operational Readiness Test (unless you count “ORT 11,” which starts on Mars in 19 sols). For ORT 10, we simulated Approach, Entry, Descent and Landing (AEDL), for which I was just a spectator. Then we continued on to a dress rehearsal of surface operations from landing through the evening of sol 2. This was a chance to test our response to many of the lessons learned earlier. I was extremely happy with the results. We’re still learning and still working to get better, but we did a very good job getting the information we needed on the ground quickly.

Sol 0 was nominal. (That’s the understated NASA way of saying we survived the “7 minutes of terror” of EDL, and have a healthy spacecraft in Mars.) We got all of the images taken on sol 0 during the first downlink after landing. There was still plenty of data from EDL stored, for not only the sol 1 AM downlink but for the next few AM downlinks). From an imaging point of view, it was even better than real flight operations will be, with no missing parts of images whatsoever.

There was one exception to getting at all the information quickly. After sol 1, we did not have confidence in the resolution of conflicting information about the robotic arm temperatures. (This was all made up -- the conflicting temperatures hovered around -25 C…in Tucson…in May…) The decision was to gather more information before using the robotic arm motors. So, on sol 2 we took more pictures and did some MECA activity that had been scheduled for a few sols in the future. After we got the sol 2 data, we were go to use the RA, and we planned sol 3 accordingly before ending the ORT.

(more)


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#164 2008-05-08 04:07:32

dmuller
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Thanks spacenut for the welcome!

Some news to share: The Phoenix real-time simulation at http://www.dmuller.net/phoenix now has both Spacecraft Event Time and Earth Received Time. ERT hasnt been tested as much as the SCET version yet, so it may uncover some hiccups but I hope that wont be the case.

Also, for those planning to watch the landing live on the internet, I have received the following message from JPL:

There will be two types of programming streamed from mission control. A version with commentary and interviews mixed in will begin at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time, on NASA TV's "Public" channel.  A plain version without commentary (the way TV news editors generally prefer) will begin at 3 p.m. on NASA TV's "Media" channels.  Both channels can be viewed online at www.nasa.gov/ntv.

cIclops:

Maybe it's the additive delay of the next relay pass plus the time it takes the relay to see the DSN again, because Mars will have rotated about 30°

now that makes sense!

What's the first signal Canberra should see?

I wouldnt have a clue. Havent found anything on the net that is as detailed as that.


Daniel


Spaceflight resources to share: Phoenix Real-Time Simulation. More soon ...

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#165 2008-05-08 04:37:36

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

The ERT version looks good, however, it's a bit disturbing how the events stop at peak heating, on the SCET page it got as far as chute deploy smile

AFAIK Goldstone and Canberra overlap by about four hours, so Canberra will have to work fast to be first.

Some of us will be following along live in the #space chat room (see link below)


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#166 2008-05-08 05:47:14

dmuller
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From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

well it scrolls through the timeline ... added NASA TV coverage as events, hence you dont see too much down the timeline. Dont worry, it's all there ... done a test run and that neatly landed on time and on the spot  big_smile

Do I need to post the full timeline or can we wait for the event to acually occur?  lol

This time around I guess I wont be in the irc chat if I can make it to the Canberra DSN

Daniel


Spaceflight resources to share: Phoenix Real-Time Simulation. More soon ...

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#167 2008-05-08 06:12:47

cIclops
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Posts: 3,230

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Ok, no worries here - the actual events are more important and we have no choice but to wait.

Here's the landing sequence anyway for reassurance :>

phxlandingseqqc1.jpg


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#168 2008-05-08 06:30:49

dmuller
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From: Australia
Registered: 2008-05-04
Posts: 14

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

The time between Entry Interface and Landing seems to have shrunk from 470 secs (graph) to 440 secs based on the entry interface and nominal landing time that I've been given. I have taken my events from that chart and adjusted for the 30 sec difference.

The time between "lander separation" and "throttle up" seems particularly scary. Phoenix will be in freefall, albeit for 3 secs only, but with only about 500m altitude (5 secs of flight) to spare.


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#169 2008-05-08 06:44:34

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

Indeed, the diagram is a bit out of date.

The "Hazard Detection and Avoidance" phase has been, if you'll excuse the pun, dropped too because of problems with the descent imager (MARDI). (The image is now edited). In the infamous words of Mike Malin, who supplied the instrument, landing will be "a statistical crap shoot".

It also means there won't be any sound from the mic on MARDI sad


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#170 2008-05-09 03:30:54

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

Entry Descent and Landing - video 5 mins - nifty mix of video interviews and high quality animation

Try the HD version (187MB) - one of the best NASA videos ever produced!

16 days


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#171 2008-05-10 01:59:38

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

phxartistrt4.jpg

From Phoenix Press Kit (PDF 3MB) - dated 8 May 2008 - excellent overview of the project

Phoenix keeps oriented as it flies toward Mars by using a star tracker and pair of sun sensors mounted on the cruise stage. The same type of star tracker is used on Mars Odyssey, a camera that takes pictures of the sky and has computer power to compare the images with a catalog of star positions and recognize which part of the sky it is facing.

Update from dmuller's page

10-May-08 02:14:06 NOT REQUIRED: Trajectory correction maneuve [4]

Next event: Trajectory correction maneuver #5 on 17 May


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#172 2008-05-10 15:04:21

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

Flying True Enough to Skip One Scheduled Adjustment - 9 May 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander continues on course for its May 25 arrival at Mars. After targeting its certified landing site with a trajectory, or flight path, correction maneuver on April 10, the spacecraft's performance has been stable enough for the mission's operators to forgo the scheduled opportunity for an additional trajectory correction maneuver on May 10 and focus on the next such opportunity, on May 17.

The Phoenix navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., made that recommendation after assessing the trajectory this week and mission management accepted the recommendation late Thursday. Phoenix has performed three flight path correction maneuvers since its Aug. 4, 2007, launch. Besides the May 17 one, the final opportunity for adjusting the course to hit the targeted landing area will be in the final 24 hours before landing.

The first possible confirmation time for the spacecraft's landing on May 25 will be at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The event would have happened 15 minutes and 20 seconds earlier on Mars, and then radio signals traveling at the speed of light will take 15 minutes and 20 seconds to cross the distance from Mars to Earth on that day.


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#173 2008-05-10 15:11:08

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

226579main_arm-516.jpg

From Intense Testing Paved Phoenix Road to Mars - 9 May 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has a scoop on the end of its Robotic Arm. A motor-driven rasp can be lowered at an angle through a small opening in the bottom of the scoop to aid in gathering shavings of hard-frozen material. In this image, Lori Shiraishi, an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, inspects the scoop while the spacecraft was being assembled and tested before its Aug. 4, 2007, launch.


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#174 2008-05-12 11:00:39

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

181450main_surface_stereo_imager-516.jpg

Surface Stereo Imager (SSI)

SSI will serve as Phoenix's "eyes" for the mission, providing high-resolution, stereo, panoramic images of the martian arctic. Using an advanced optical system, SSI will survey the arctic landing site for geological context, provide range maps in support of digging operations, and make atmospheric dust and cloud measurements.

Situated atop an extended mast, SSI will provide images at a height two meters above the ground, roughly the height of a tall person. SSI simulates the human eye with its two optical lens system that will give three-dimensional views of the arctic plains. The instrument will also simulate the resolution of human eyesight using a charged-coupled device that produces high density 1024 x 1024 pixel images. But SSI exceeds the capabilities of the human eye by using optical and infrared filters, allowing multispectral imaging at 12 wavelengths of geological interest and atmospheric interest.

Looking downward, stereo data from SSI will support robotic arm operations by producing digital elevation models of the surrounding terrain. With these data, scientists and engineers will have three-dimensional virtual views of the digging area. Along with data from the TEGA and the MECA, scientists will use the three-dimensional views to better understand the geomorphology and mineralogy of the site. Engineers will also use these three-dimensional views to command the trenching operations of the robotic arm. SSI will also be used to provide multispectral images of samples delivered to the lander deck to support results from the other scientific instruments.

Looking upward, SSI will be used to estimate the optical properties of the martian atmosphere around the landing site. Using narrow-band imaging of the Sun, the imager will estimate density of atmospheric dust, optical depth of airborne aerosols, and abundance of atmospheric water vapor. SSI will also look at the lander itself to assess the amount of wind-blown dust deposited on spacecraft. Deposition rates provide important information for scientists to understand erosional and atmospheric processes, but are critical for engineers who are concerned about the amount of deposited dust on the solar panels and associated power degradation.

Like the eyebrows?  smile

13 days


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#175 2008-05-13 10:17:59

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

226792main_6406-516.jpg
Thin black ellipses indicate expected landing zone - there's a 99% chance of landing inside the outermost one

Topography and Terrain of Phoenix Target Area - 13 May 2008

This shaded relief map shows the topography and color-coded types of terrain in and around the targeted landing site for NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander.

The spacecraft will reach Mars on May 25, 2008. The center of the targeted landing area is at the center of the set of ellipses superimposed on the map. Plans call for navigating Phoenix to hit a target at the top of Mars' atmosphere so that the spacecraft will have a 66 percent chance of landing within the smallest of the three ellipses and a 99 percent chance of landing within the largest of the three.

An impact crater informally named "Heimdall" lies in the orange-coded area northeast of the targeted landing site. The crater is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide. Material ejected from Heimdall has been mapped as a rocky inner portion (orange) and an outer portion (yellow). The outer ejecta is relatively rock-free, as is the "lowland bright" unit (light blue), which is probably an even farther-out portion of where material ejected from Heimdall has been deposited. These two ejecta units thus provide a rock-free and flat terrain for the Phoenix landing.

The "lowland dark" (dark blue) unit has more rocks detectable from orbit than the lowland bright unit.

More details and images from the press conference today - 13 May 2008

During the press conference it was stated that the first signal after touchdown is expected within one minute of landing at 23:53 UTC ERT. It will contain EDL and other engineering data. The radio is then turned off as the relay satellites will be out of range. Next signal, including the first image, is expected 90 minutes later. These are nominal timings.


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