[FPSPACE] Mars lander phones home

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Sat Nov 15 12:56:00 EST 2008


Phoenix does have one last mission it is carrying out, which it may
do for generations - as the first Library on the planet Mars:

http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/messages/vom.html

Larry


>From: "Peter Pesavento" <pjp961 at svol.net>
>To: <fpspace at friends-partners.org>
>Subject: [FPSPACE] Mars lander phones home
>Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 17:33:42 -0500
>
> >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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