[FPSPACE] Mars lander phones home

gorski gorski at ctc.net
Fri Nov 14 17:41:34 EST 2008


http://planetary.org/news/2008/1113_Mars_Exploration_Rovers_Update_Spirit.html

Looks to me like it was Spirit, the MER.

As memory serves, Spirit started running into dust problems shortly after
Phoenix died.  I believe NASA has declared the Phoenix mission to be over,
and they probably aren't listening for a signal from it anymore--though I
could be wrong about that last bit.

nasa.gov has not yet been updated to reflect this, though.

cheers,

--me




On Fri, 14 Nov 2008, Peter Pesavento wrote:

}>From the (UK) Telegraph
}
}
}
}http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/3455439/Mars-Lander-
}lives-on-after-dust-storm.html
}
}
}
}For some reason, I am confused by the initial information.  I can't tell if
}the writer means a Mars rover, or the Mars Phoenix Lander (which is indeed
}described later on in the text).
}
}
}
}I think they meant "five-month-old Martian lander".not 5-year old Martian
}rover..
}
}
}
}You be the judge.
}
}
}
}
}Mars Lander lives on after dust storm
}
}
}Despite a nasty Martian dust storm, the Mars Lander lives.
}
}
}Last Updated: 12:26AM GMT 14 Nov 2008
}
}NASA had not heard from the 5-year-old Martian rover for four days. Just
}when engineers feared having to give up the ghost, the aptly named robot
}radioed back to Earth on Thursday that it survived.
}
}Engineers shouted "she's talking," at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena,
}California. They were afraid that a dust storm had drained Spirit's solar
}batteries, triggering it to shut down. Spirit's batteries are low, but
}working.
}
}Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, are living long past their planned three
}months on Mars.
}
}Since its successful landing in May, Phoenix has sent back a bonanza of
}scientific discoveries. Its first breakthrough was the confirmation of ice
}at its landing site. Previous measurements from space suggested there was
}frozen water lurking inches below the surface, but Phoenix became the first
}robotic probe to touch and taste it by melting icy soil in one of its lab
}instruments.
}
}Early on, Phoenix was dogged with technical difficulties involving its tiny
}test ovens designed to sniff for traces of organic, or carbon-based
}compounds. Several oven doors failed to open all the way; the lander also
}had trouble getting the dirt into the ovens and a short circuit threatened
}to render the instrument useless.
}
}Originally pegged to last three months, Phoenix lasted a little over five
}months, flexing its long arm to dig trenches in the soil and delivering dirt
}and ice to its onboard instruments to analyze.
}
}By the end of its prime mission, Phoenix determined the soil was slightly
}alkaline, detected falling snow and found minerals that suggest the ice may
}have melted at some point, although the soil is currently bone-dry.
}
}Phoenix grew considerably weak in recent weeks as the Martian weather
}deteriorated.
}
}
}
}


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