One of the Phoenix images that has most captivated has been the one that shows the rest of the background of that startling image of the parachute part of the landing phase that was taken by the Reconnaissance orbiter’s HiRiSE camera. I showed it a few days ago here, and it is amazing, for all the reasons I said back then and more. I’m still buzzed by the idea that we have cameras from another craft photographing the landing of a new craft. Well, a while later, the mission released the photo showing the larger backdrop to that image. There’s the (giant 10 km) Heimdall crater in the background! (See the little inset bottom left showing where the previous image focussed; credit: NASA/JPL).
Rather dramatic, wouldn’t you agree? It’s not really as close to the crater as it Continue reading ‘Bowled Over’
Marvellous. It is good to get the chance to use the word in its most basic sense, and fully mean it. You know how there’s a lot of reliance on artist’s impressions to depict aspects of space missions (such as landing) that we can’t get photos of because, well, there’s nothing else there to take the photo (unlike the movies and TV)? Well look at this:
It may not look like much to some, but I’m really impressed with this. It is a first. It is the Phoenix lander during the act of landing during the “Seven Minutes of Terror” yesterday! NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was in the right position to take a Continue reading ‘Photo Finish’
16:56 or so: Yep. That was a tense seven minutes. But it is over and they are getting signals. I watched the live feed from the JPL control room. Wow. Who knew this could be so exciting from so far away?! Anybody else watch it?
Continue reading ‘She Stuck The Landing!!!’
The phoenix lander making (we all hope) a soft landing on Mars – Artist’s depiction by JPL Mars program artist Corby Waste
Remember the launch of the Phoenix spacecraft last summer? I mentioned it in earlier posts (including talking about the mural for it – see here and here) and Phil did a lovely post on the launch here. Have a look at the mission website. Here’s a space.com article that gives an update on the mission so far.
Well, today’s the day it approaches and (it is hoped) lands on Mars!! So, the landing. The landing, the landing the landing. It’s all about the landing. The craft has to slow down from 12500 miles per hour to make a soft landing on the surface. In a matter of Continue reading ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’