The Phoenix Mars Lander Successfully Lands on Mars (W/Video)

(1:30AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

After the 422 million mile journey, which took 296 days, the Phoenix Mars lander successfully landed on Mars.

During the “seven minutes of terror,” NASA Scientists waited anxiously for communications that the craft had landed safely. The Phoenix Mars Lander has the same design as the Mar’s Polar Lander which crashed while landing near the south pole in 1999.

Mission Control Room During the Landing

On Phoenix, a robotic arm with a scoop at the end will dig into the permafrost terrain into the ice. Instruments on the spacecraft included a small oven that will heat the scooped-up dirt and ice to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Analyzing the vapors will provide information of the minerals, and that will, in turn, provide clues about whether the ice ever melted and whether this region was habitable for life.

“We see Phoenix as a stepping stone to future investigations of Mars,” said Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, the principal investigator of the mission.

NYT

First time ever photos from this part of Mars are expected to arrive within about an hour.

[Update] The first photos are in! Click here to go to the NASA website to view the images

11 comments

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    • NCDemAmy on May 26, 2008 at 3:20 am
      Author
  1. During the “seven minutes of terror,”

    Terror

    Terror

    Terror

    Are we that fucked up a society having been zapped with the cattle prod of “terror” for the past seven years by for profit commercial media?

    We have to associate terror with the landing of a scientific probe of Mars.

  2. for words.  Thanks for the essay!

  3. This weekend I was in Cleveland for a wedding.  Today, we visited the NASA Glenn Research Center–a place that I didn’t even know existed before this weekend.  I was glad to see that there is ongoing research in many areas that will advance space exploration & technology here too–including work on fuel cells, developing electric engines for airplanes, etc.

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