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#76 2007-08-04 12:12:22

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

181866main_Liftoff.jpg
Liftoff at 5:26 ET from Cape Canaveral

Phoenix Post-Launch News Conference (video 26:08 mins) 4 Aug 2007

All smiles smile

Phoenix arrives 25 May 2008


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#77 2007-08-04 20:52:23

SpaceNut
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Posts: 29,038

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

As an interesting side note several Marsdrive members also have their names recorded on a CD that is attached to the lander by the Planetary Society. Future Mars astronauts will be able to read of the people who watched a new chapter begin in Mars exploration.

http://www.planetary.org/programs/proje … 70804.html

Projects: Messages from Earth The Phoenix DVD

edit:
Another page of info....
Visions of Mars: A Message to the Future

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#78 2007-09-02 08:04:28

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

Successful course adjustment - 10 Aug 2007

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander today accomplished the first and largest of six course corrections planned during the spacecraft's flight from Earth to Mars.

Phoenix left Earth Aug. 4, bound for a challenging touchdown on May 25, 2008, at a site farther north than any previous Mars landing. It will robotically dig to underground ice and run laboratory tests assessing whether the site could ever have been hospitable to microbial life.

Phoenix today is traveling at about 33,180 meters per second (74,200 miles per hour) in relation to the sun. The first trajectory-correction maneuver was calculated to tweak the velocity by about 18.5 meters per second (41 miles per hour). The spacecraft fired its four mid-size thrusters for three minutes and 17 seconds to adjust its trajectory.

"All the subsystems are functioning as expected with few deviations from predicted performance," said Joe Guinn, Phoenix mission system manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Key activities in the next few weeks will include checkouts of science instruments, radar and the communication system that will be used during and after the landing.

The second trajectory-correction maneuver is planned for mid-October. "These first two together take out the bias intentionally put in at launch," said JPL's Brian Portock, Phoenix navigation team chief. Without the correction maneuvers, the spacecraft's course after launch day would miss Mars by about 950,000 kilometers (590,000 miles), an intentional offset to prevent the third stage of the launch vehicle from hitting Mars. The launch vehicle is not subject to the rigorous cleanliness requirements that the spacecraft must meet as a protection against letting Earth organisms get a foothold on Mars.

The burn began at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Each of the four trajectory-correction thrusters provides about 15.6 newtons (3.5 pounds) of force. Smaller, attitude-control thrusters pivoted the spacecraft to the desired orientation a few minutes before the main burn and returned it afterward to the right orientation for catching solar energy while communicating with Earth. Their thrust capacity is about 4.4 newtons (1 pound) apiece. The twelve largest thrusters on Phoenix, delivering about 293 newtons (66 pounds) apiece, will operate only during the final minute before landing on Mars.


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#79 2007-09-09 02:55:29

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

PIA09946_fig1_thumb.jpgPIA09947.jpg
Landing ellipses - the larger diagonal one applies ................. details from inside the red box (MRO/CTX)

Higher resolution map and text

The map also shows a color-coded interpretation of geomorphic units -- categories based on the surface textures and contours. The yellow-coded area surrounding a crater informally named "Heimdall" appears to have even fewer boulders on the surface than other units. The geomorphic mapping is overlaid on a shaded relief map based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.


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#80 2007-10-31 14:14:53

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

Tasks En Route to Mars Include Course Tweak, Gear Checks - 30 Oct 2007

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, launched on Aug. 4 and headed to Mars, fired its four trajectory correction thrusters Wednesday for only the second time. The 45.9-second burn nudged the spacecraft just the right amount to put it on a course to arrive at the red planet seven months from today.

At Mars, Phoenix will face a challenging 7-minute descent through the atmosphere to land in the far north on May 25, 2008. After landing, it will use a robotic digging arm and other instruments during a three-month period to investigate whether icy soil of the Martian arctic could have ever been a favorable environment for microbial life. The solar-powered lander will also look for clues about the history of the water in the ice and will monitor weather as northern Mars' summer progresses toward fall.

The second course adjustment had been postponed a week to allow time for carefully returning the spacecraft to full operations after a cosmic-ray strike disrupted a computer memory chip Oct. 6. Experiences with previous spacecraft have shown hits by cosmic rays are a known hazard in deep space. The Phoenix spacecraft properly followed its onboard safety programming by putting itself into a precautionary standby state when the event occurred. Mission controllers then followed step-by-step procedures to understand the cause and resume regular operations.

"Our engineers responded in a very careful and deliberate manner. Since this was a very well-understood anomaly, it was a good experience for the team," said Phoenix Project Manager Barry Goldstein of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

This week's trajectory correction maneuver, plus the flight's first one on Aug. 10, were planned in advance to adjust for a launch-day course that was intentionally designed to be slightly offset from Mars. The offset had prevented the possibility of the third stage of the launch vehicle hitting Mars.

Before the Oct. 24 maneuver, the spacecraft's planned trajectory would have missed Mars by about 95,000 kilometers (59,000 miles). Now, Phoenix is on track to intercept Mars in its orbit next year.

"The first and second trajectory correct maneuvers were designed together," said JPL's Brian Portock, chief of the navigation team for Phoenix. "We gain a more efficient use of fuel by splitting the necessary adjustment into two maneuvers." The second maneuver changed the velocity of the spacecraft by about 3.6 meters per second (8.05 miles per hour), about one-fifth as much as the first maneuver.

Four additional opportunities for trajectory corrections are scheduled in April and May 2008. "The remaining ones are really for fine tuning," Portock said. The landing site is a broad valley at about 68 degrees north latitude, 233 degrees east longitude.

Initial in-flight checks of all the science instruments were completed with Oct. 26 testing of the Canadian-provided weather station, which includes a laser-reflection device called a lidar. "With the activation of Canada's weather station, the testing of the precision lidar instrument and the temperature and pressure sensors, we will be receiving our first space weather report from Phoenix as it continues its voyage to Mars," said Alain Berinstain, Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy at the Canadian Space Agency.

In recent weeks, flight controllers have conducted two sessions of heating the spacecraft's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer to drive off water vapor that was carried from Earth in the instrument. Results indicate that the process is successfully removing water vapor. Additional "bake-out" sessions for this instrument are planned prior to landing.

Seems there was an unreported fail safe event 6 Oct.


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#81 2007-11-01 07:08:01

Zydar
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From: UK
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Good Luck to the Phoenix mission.

Let's hope the people who survey the landing site for phoenix have selected a good location and not a site like the location for Polar Lander which unfortunately, set down on surface structures. To verify this, check out the PL landing site in minute detail. It would also appear that Beagle 2 may have suffered the same fate as Polar Lander.

The images of a proposed landing site should not be just looked at to determine what appears to be on the surface, but looked into more deeply to find anything unusual about objects on the surface which are not showing in a general survey and would possibly jepardise a landing at the selected location.

There are vast numbers of structures on the surface terrain and it would appear that there are huge civilizations inhabiting the planet. The Martians big secret is they know how to camouflage their architecture into the lay of the land. There are many instances where on first examination of an image no structures can be seen, but processing the image further reveals exactly what is on the surface. I wonder if the people who survey the terrain realise this.

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#82 2007-12-12 05:24:37

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

Marsward - The Apex - Patrick Woida, Senior Engineer Phoenix team  28 Nov 2007

As a mission we have moved from the Early Cruise Phase to the Late Cruise Phase and we are changing perspective from leaving the Earth to the point of view of our little robot landing on Mars. The Phoenix herself is settling down into her Quiescent Period, or slumber in the deepest part of space during her journey far from either world. A good opportunity for me to let you all know that for the project and people all is well.

All the activities that made up the effort to complete and integrate the instruments with the spacecraft leading to the excitement of launch have settled down as preparations and potential are to become operations and abilities. We rebuild our momentum to the greater task of our arrival on Mars and working with our robot fixed on the northern highlands of Mars next May.

Although our bird settles for her long winter nap, the team readies for the descent to Mars. To kick off the new campaign next week we have our next Operational Readiness Test. The setting for this test is to perform the Entry, Decent, and Landing followed by the first few days on Mars. This work goes on with teams in all three locations of JPL, Lockheed, and here at Science Operations in Tucson. The EDL team is already busy and will end with the simulated landing at 4 pm local time next Tuesday.


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#83 2008-01-11 11:40:05

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

(originally posted by kscvideos)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5geXLw00qc
big_smile
Join host Tiffany Nail as she takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour to see how the Phoenix spacecraft and Delta II rocket are prepared for launch as this exciting new mission to Mars is poised to take us another step closer to understanding the mysteries of the red planet. In addition, the experts are set to answer some of your questions that were submitted to our question board, so watch the webcast to learn more.


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#84 2008-02-20 13:26:55

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

Edited highlights from a chat log with PHX engineers today: (your newmars.com participant was cIclops)

Cassie_Bowman> Hi all, and welcome!  I'd like to introduce two Phoenix Mars Mission engineers, Pat Woida and Mark Garcia. Pat, would you like to start by giving us a little background about yourself?

Cassie_Bowman: Mark, could you give us a little information about your background as well?

Mark_Garcia> I am the Phoenix Deputy Mission Manager here at JPL.  I've been working on Phoenix in various roles since early 2004 and am very excited for our landing on May 25th!

Pat_Woida> Hi, I'm one of the PHX engineers. I helped create, test, deliver, and will run on Mars the 3 camera systems. The Stereo Surface imager (SSI), the Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) and the Optical Microscope (OM) in MECA. 

MahFL: What is the overall thought on a sucessfull landing, percentage wise ?
Mark_Garcia> We don't put an actual number on the probability of a successful landing, but we do compute our chances of landing in an safe area and with plenty of fuel left over, etc.  We usually try for 95% chance or better of landing "in spec", if that answers your question. 

newmars.com: What's the bang up to the minute status of Phoenix?
Mark_Garcia> Right now we're in Cruise phase, but ready to start kicking into high gear with the last 60 days of preparation prior to Mars Entry.  Our teams have a week long test to simulate the final 4 days prior to Entry coming up in 2 weeks and we're really busy getting ready for that.  The spacecraft continues to perform flawlessly and we've almost finished all the instrument checkouts we had planned prior to launch.  All in all, things are looking pretty good.

DEChengst: How does the SSI on Phoenix compare to PanCam on MER ?
Pat_Woida> We actually use the flight spare CCDs from Pancam for the SSI camera.  We have altered the field of view so we have the highest resolution of any camera yet sent to Mars. So the CCDs have the same psectral response, and we use many similar filters since theyare tied to things like water vapor lines. One advantage i like, is the eyes sit the same distance above the ground as my own. So the view you get for PHX is the same as if you were standing on Mars yourself. 

newmars.com: Airbags have apparently reached their limit, so what is the maximum payload that a Phoenix/Viking type lander can deliver to the surface?
Mark_Garcia> That's a great question, although one that I'm not completely qualifed to answer.  Maybe we can table this until the 3:30 session when we'll have an actual PHX EDL engineer on the chat.  That said, I will say that Mars Science Lab (MSL) - the rover launching next year - is enormous and will be the biggest thing we've landed on Mars.

newmars.com: What's the greatest risk after landing to the success of the mission?
Mark_Garcia> I'm sure that different folks will have different answers to this, but if we don't get our solar arrays out within a day of landing, the mission is over (won't be able to generate power).

H__: Is the PHX remote software update system openly documented on the internet ?
Mark_Garcia> No.

newmars.com: How many living organisms are there on board?
Pat_Woida> The hope would be none of course.  We have sterilized the Robotic Arm and Robotic Arm Camera that will go sub-surface by a 50 hour 110°C bakeout. So the arm should be sterile. Also the high UV on the surface will clean the lander as well. 

DEChengst: Some time ago I read about Phoenix possibly kicking up too much dust during landing. What's the latest news on this possible problem ?
Mark_Garcia> We have analysed this question quite a bit.  The conclusion is that we will kick up dust, but how much and for how long it stays airborne is fairly uncertain. Because of this, we conservatively wait 15 minutes before opening our solar arrays after landing for the dust to settle.

DEChengst: Will there be a rawimages webpage like MER has, so we space geek get to play with our imaging softeware ?
Mark_Garcia> This is a better question for Pat, but my understanding is that there WILL be such a page available.

PJ: The "air bag" landings of the Mars Rovers were so successful, why didn't you use that method instead of what looks like a very risky rocket landing?
Pat_Woida> The Rovers are designed to bounce around on the surface.  PHX is effectively a remote geologist with on board labs of the digging aspect, we have to be firmly planted on the ground. This design does not lend itself to bouncing around and we could upright ourselves. 

newmars.com: Will there be a realtime telemetry display on the internet?
Mark_Garcia> I don't think that's actually possible due to the restrictions that are placed on that data.

newmars.com: When will the first images be available?
Pat_Woida> They should come from me on May 25th, my guess about 5pm local time.  expect images of the footpad (like Viking) the two solar panels and to confirm the Robotic Arm (and RAC) are free of the biobarrier. 

H__: Do you build/use any robots in your spare time, at home ?
Pat_Woida> also have a selection of Robot toys ranging from Lego Mindstorms to R2DR that can be programed. 

Neemo: Has anything been determined to minimize the possible contamination of surface material by "jetwash" from the landing rockets?
Pat_Woida> My focus has been to keep the payload from contaminating Mars. Mark?

Cassie_Bowman: Another email question: How long will it take Phoenix to get to Mars?
Mark_Garcia> The entire journey from launch to landing is 295 days, but right now we are 95 days from landing (at 4:30 PDT on May 25th).  Yikes!

newmars.com: Thanks for answering so many questions!
Mark_Garcia> You're welcome.  Just wish I was a better typist. ;-]


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#85 2008-02-20 16:45:20

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

Thanks cIclops, you rock!


Fan of [url=http://www.red-oasis.com/]Red Oasis[/url]

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#86 2008-02-25 04:36:37

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

PSP_006561_2485.jpg

Landing terrain imaged 20 Dec 2007 by MRO/HiRISE at 25 cms/pixel

This high latitude image shows a portion of the landing ellipse for the Mars Scout spacecraft Phoenix as seen during late winter on Mars. Phoenix will land somewhere within the ellipse on Memorial Day, 2008, but probably not within this image.

While the Phoenix lander will land in mid-spring and operate through the Martian summer, the current winter landscape looks somewhat different. The Sun is beginning to rise from the winter night and is only 10 degrees above the horizon to illuminate the surface in this image. As a result, what few rocks are present cast noticeable shadows, and every bump and undulation of the surface, now matter how small, is accentuated.

In this winter image, a blanket of carbon dioxide frost (dry ice snow) about a foot deep covers the surface. Bright patches in the image are areas where the frost is relatively clean, while in darker areas over much of the image, the frost is either dirty with atmospheric dust or the frost is somewhat translucent allowing us to see a little of the soil surface.

Summertime images of this region show that small hexagonal and polygonal patterns a few meters (yards) in size ubiquitously cover the entire region. These patterns are the result of annual thermal contraction in ice-cemented soil forming a honeycomb network of small fractures below the surface that manifest themselves as small shallow troughs at the surface. Interestingly, these patterns are not visible in this image. The shallow troughs that mark the polygons are currently filled in with carbon dioxide frost making them virtually invisible. As spring approaches the carbon dioxide frost will slowly sublimate (changes directly from ice to gas) and the polygons will once again become visible.


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#87 2008-03-02 05:18:28

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

Spacecraft at Mars Prepare to Welcome New Kid on the Block - 28 Feb 2008

Three Mars spacecraft are adjusting their orbits to be over the right place at the right time to listen to NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander as it enters the Martian atmosphere on May 25.

Every landing on Mars is difficult. Having three orbiters track Phoenix as it streaks through Mars' atmosphere will set a new standard for coverage of critical events during a robotic landing. The data stream from Phoenix will be relayed to Earth throughout the spacecraft's entry, descent and landing events. If all goes well, the flow of information will continue for one minute after touchdown.

"We will have diagnostic information from the top of the atmosphere to the ground that will give us insight into the landing sequence," said David Spencer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., deputy project manager for the Phoenix Mars Lander project. This information would be valuable in the event of a problem with the landing and has the potential to benefit the design of future landers.

Bob Mase, mission manager at JPL for NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, said, "We have been precisely managing the trajectory to position Odyssey overhead when Phoenix arrives, to ensure we are ready for communications. Without those adjustments, we would be almost exactly on the opposite side of the planet when Phoenix arrives."

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is making adjustments in bigger increments, with one firing of thrusters on Feb. 6 and at least one more planned in April. The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has also maneuvered to be in place to record transmissions from Phoenix during the landing. Even the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been aiding preparations, simulating transmissions from Phoenix for tests with the orbiters.

Launched on Aug. 4, 2007, Phoenix will land farther north than any previous mission to Mars, at a site expected to have frozen water mixed with soil just below the surface. The lander will use a robotic arm to put samples of soil and ice into laboratory instruments. One goal is to study whether the site has ever had conditions favorable for supporting microbial life.

Phoenix will hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 5.7 kilometers per second (12,750 miles per hour). In the next seven minutes, it will use heat-shield friction, a parachute, then descent rockets to slow to about 2.4 meters per second (5.4 mph) before landing on three legs.

Odyssey will tilt from its normally downward-looking orientation to turn its ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) antenna toward the descending Phoenix. As Odyssey receives a stream of information from Phoenix, it will immediately relay the stream to Earth with a more capable high-gain antenna. The other two orbiters, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Express, will record transmissions from Phoenix during the descent, as backup to ensure that all data is captured, then transmit the whole files to Earth after the landing. "We will begin recording about 10 minutes before the landing," said JPL's Ben Jai, mission manager for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The orbiters' advance support for the Phoenix mission also includes examination of potential landing sites, which is continuing. After landing, the support will include relaying communication between Phoenix and Earth during the three months that Phoenix is scheduled to operate on the surface. Additionally, NASA and European Space Agency ground stations are performing measurements to determine the trajectory of Phoenix with high precision.

With about 160 million kilometers (100 million miles) still to fly as of late February, Phoenix continues to carry out testing and other preparations of its instruments. The pressure and temperature sensors of the meteorological station provided by the Canadian Space Agency were calibrated Feb. 27 for the final time before landing. "The spacecraft has been behaving so well that we have been able to focus much of the team's attention on preparations for landing and surface operations," Spencer said.

Nice coordination!


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#88 2008-03-02 09:43:54

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

I think I can see a city in that picture  lol  big_smile  lol  smile


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#89 2008-03-02 10:02:38

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,546
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Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

no, it's clearly a forest. big_smile


-Josh

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#90 2008-03-02 12:41:29

RedStreak
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Posts: 541

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

no, it's clearly a forest. big_smile

No...a shrubbery!

*in background* Nei!   tongue

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#91 2008-03-15 09:27:32

Zydar
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 74

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

I notice my recent post has been removed.

Could whoever moved it please tell me why this was done?

The post is very relevant to the integrity of the Phoenix mission and has nothing at all to do with 'Intelligent Alien Life'?

Zydar

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#92 2008-03-16 04:19:18

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

PSP_007207_2485.jpg
Northern Plains Seasonal Frost at Phoenix Landing (MRO/HiRISE) - imaged 9 Feb 2008

More details and higher resolution images

This image shows seasonal frost in the northern hemisphere plains of Mars, showing a portion of the landing ellipse for the Mars Scout spacecraft Phoenix. Phoenix will land somewhere within the ellipse on 25 May 2008 (Memorial Day in the United States.)

The bright surfaces in this image are covered with seasonal carbon dioxide frost (dry ice snow). During the winter, the entire surface was covered with a blanket of carbon dioxide frost about a foot deep. Now the frost is slowly sublimating away (changing directly from ice to gas) revealing small hexagonal and polygonal patterns a few meters (yards) in size in the darker soil beneath the surface.

The polygonal patterns on the surface are commonly referred to as “patterned ground” and are often found in high latitude and high alpine environments on Earth. The patterns are the result of annual thermal contraction in ice-cemented soil or permafrost that forms a honeycomb network of small fractures below the surface. This network of fractures is eventually manifested as small shallow troughs at the surface forming the hexagonal and polygonal patterns visible in this image. Bright carbon dioxide frost still fills the shallow troughs accentuating these patterns.

Please use this topic for further discussion about artifacts in this image.


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#93 2008-03-16 12:20:05

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

The post is very relevant to the integrity of the Phoenix mission and has nothing at all to do with 'Intelligent Alien Life'?
Zydar

*buzzer sounds*  I am sorry you did not phrase the grammar of your own question correctly.  Pat Sayjack what is the consolation price?  Oh yes a copy of speaking and writing English fluently which I find sad that an Englishman screwed up.

As far as what we see in the images of Phoenix's landing site...how about we wait for images directly from the lander itself?!?

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#94 2008-03-17 04:55:30

Zydar
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 74

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

To RedStreak,

There is nothing incorrect about the grammar. My original post can still be found listed under a different heading.

To cIclops,

The image, PSP_007207_2485 shown above, is located at 68.2 N / 232.2 E whereas, the image PSP_006561_2485 I find interesting is located at 68.2 N / 231.4 E, a difference in longitude of 0.8 degrees which could place the two locations miles apart although both are centred at the same latitude.

The image I use for research of this area is the full image of PSP_006561_2485 which is over 6 Megs in size. This image is full of interesting objects which are definitely not small boulders.

Zydar

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#95 2008-03-17 18:25:57

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
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Posts: 541

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Unless the Martians are insect-size those are boulders, not buildings.  The images are all by HiRise and it images things on the same scale as our space probes; something a meter or larger will appear.

Personally I'm not into debating about unfocused blips...which in the case of the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Face of Mars all turned out to be rocks and hoaxes or trees or shubbery.  What I am interested in about Phoenix's mission is it's nearly state-of-the-art ability to detect organics in frozen water-rich Martian soil.  If there is any life anywhere on at least the Martian surface it'd likely be the poles, and that would include intelligent life...

So if this is a city then Zydar Phoenix is landing upon then the images from its descent camera and close-ups of the natives will prove that final lynch pin you conspiracy lunatics need, and those Martians won't be juuuuuuuuuuust out of focus enough to keep real scientists from drawing conclusions that'd kill estranged enthusiasm.

I'd bet 600 of your British pounds that it won't be a city Zydar, but more likely cracked terrain ressembling the dry valleys of Antartica.  I also bet you won't take that bet and ignore any of the actual pictures Phoenix sends back via "telly" as you British enjoy calling the America "TV" while wildly trying to rally fake support to make NASA reveal the 'real' pictures.

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#96 2008-03-20 13:33:09

Zydar
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 74

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

To RedStreak,

I posted two images under this topic earlier but the post and images have been moved to another topic. The move is somewhat disappointing as the post is totally relevant to this topic.

Take a look at the images.

A strong magnifying glass is needed to view the detail.

Zydar

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#97 2008-03-21 23:38:11

RedStreak
Banned
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Take a look at the images.

A strong magnifying glass is needed to view the detail.

Zydar

And I looked and agree with Cyclops opinion - you could interpret anything out of the bumps and dots hence why I am waiting for lander itself to land rather than listen to contraversey theories.  Believe all you want but I want lander imagery not ranting.

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#98 2008-04-11 02:45:20

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Spacecraft Fine Tunes Course for Mars Landing - 10 Apr 2008

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA engineers have adjusted the flight path of the Phoenix Mars Lander, setting the spacecraft on course for its May 25th landing on the Red Planet.

"This is our first trajectory maneuver targeting a specific location in the northern polar region of Mars," said Brian Portock, chief of the Phoenix navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission's two prior trajectory maneuvers, made last August and October, adjusted the flight path of Phoenix to intersect with Mars.

NASA has conditionally approved a landing site in a broad, flat valley informally called "Green Valley." A final decision will be made after NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes additional images of the area this month.

The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera has taken more than three dozen images of the area. Analysis of those images prompted the Phoenix team to shift the center of the landing target 8 miles southeastward, away from slightly rockier patches to the northwest. Navigators used that new center for planning today's maneuver.

The landing area is an ellipse about 62 miles by 12 miles. Researchers have mapped more than five million rocks in and around that ellipse, each big enough to end the mission if hit by the spacecraft during landing. Knowing where to avoid the rockier areas, the team has selected a scientifically exciting target that also offers the best chances for the spacecraft to set itself down safely onto the Martian surface.

"Our landing area has the largest concentration of ice on Mars outside of the polar caps. If you want to search for a habitable zone in the arctic permafrost, then this is the place to go," said Peter Smith, principal investigator for the mission, at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Phoenix will dig to an ice-rich layer expected to lie within arm's reach of the surface. It will analyze the water and soil for evidence about climate cycles and investigate whether the environment there has been favorable for microbial life.

"We have never before had so much information about a Mars site prior to landing," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis. Arvidson is chairman of the Phoenix landing-site working group and has worked on Mars landings since the first successful Viking landers in 1976.

"The environmental risks at landing -- rocks and slopes -- represent the most significant threat to a successful mission. There's always a chance that we'll roll snake eyes, but we have identified an area that is very flat and relatively free of large boulders," said JPL's David Spencer, Phoenix deputy project manager and co-chair of the landing site working group.

Today's trajectory adjustment began by pivoting Phoenix 145 degrees to orient and then fire spacecraft thrusters for about 35 seconds, then pivoting Phoenix back to point its main antenna toward Earth. The mission has three more planned opportunities for maneuvers before May 25 to further refine the trajectory for a safe landing at the desired location.

In the final seven minutes of its flight on May 25, Phoenix must perform a challenging series of actions to safely decelerate from nearly 13,000 mph. The spacecraft will release a parachute and then use pulse thrusters at approximately 3,000 feet from the surface to slow to about 5 mph and land on three legs.

"Landing on Mars is extremely challenging. In fact, not since the 1970's have we had a successful powered landing on this unforgiving planet. There's no guarantee of success, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risks," said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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#99 2008-04-15 16:13:38

3488
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From: Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom
Registered: 2008-04-15
Posts: 23

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

Enlarged image of a 250 metre wide patch of ground, near the centre of the Landing Ellipse.

A really fantastic primary mission.

I really hope that Phoenix makes it past the Martian northern Hemisphere Autumn Equinox, which falls on: Sunday 10th January 2009. After which, there should be the first signs of water & even CO2 frosts. Whether or not Phoenix makes that far is just pure speculation, but lets hope.

The primary mission is awesome. Hopefully the first successful landing in the polar region of another planet (though NEAR / Shoemaker did land near the south pole of Asteroid 433 Eros), hopefully get new insights into the Martian Arctic & history, not to mention, hopefully the first observations of the Martian Midnight Sun (I've already submitted a request of a movie of the Sun swooping low over the northern horizon @ midnight).

This mission is incredible & it annoys me when people moan, saying that it is only landing & digging holes, (landing on Mars is far from routine & is still a very special event) something we have already done with the Viking landers, but my arguement is that Phoenix's mission does not require roving & will still provide a complete new data set, from the surface of Mars in a very different location, to anywhere that we have been before (so far no two landing sites have been alike, all have been different).

Andrew Brown.


"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io". Linda Morabito on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.

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#100 2008-04-16 03:59:54

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

Re: Phoenix - North Pole Region Lander (PHX)

That link is broken too Andrew sad

The Phoenix team are quite sure that it won't survive winter as it will be encased in ice. Who cares about the first signs of frost, we want to see signs of life!  smile


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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