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Latest Lander Stories

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2008-05-28 14:20:00

Scientists leading NASA's Phoenix Mars mission from the University of Arizona in Tucson sent commands to unstow its robotic arm and take more images of its landing site early today. The Phoenix lander sent back new sharp color images from Mars late yesterday. Phoenix imaging scientists made a color mosaic of images taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager on landing day, May 25, and the first two full "sols," or Martian days, after landing. The panorama, now about one-third complete,...

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2008-05-28 11:20:00

With data recorded on board Mars Express, you can hear Phoenix descend on to the surface of the Red Planet. After being processed by the Mars Express Flight Control Team, the sounds of Phoenix descending are audible, loud and clear. DOWNLOAD AUDIO FILEThe data from the Mars Express Lander Communication system (MELACOM) that tracked Phoenix was received on Earth soon after the Phoenix landing. DOWNLOAD ANIMATION: As Mars Express flew overThis animation shows the signal of Phoenix's descent,...

2008-05-25 15:39:41

This story was updated at 5:46 p.m. EDT. PASADENA, Calif. – Excitement and nerves are both running high among NASA scientists as they prepare for the Phoenix Mars Lander's planned Sunday arrival at the red planet, mission scientists said today. The spacecraft is still in good shape and on track as it nears the finish line of its 422 million-mile (679 million km) trek to the Martian arctic. "Well this is exciting, a very exciting day," said Doug McCuistion, director...

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2008-05-26 08:25:00

A NASA spacecraft today sent pictures showing itself in good condition after making the first successful landing in a polar region of Mars. The images from NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander also provided a glimpse of the flat valley floor expected to have water-rich permafrost within reach of the lander's robotic arm. The landing ends a 422-million-mile journey from Earth and begins a three-month mission that will use instruments to taste and sniff the northern polar site's soil and ice. "We see...

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2008-05-25 19:05:00

NASA's Phoenix Lander settled onto the frozen plains surrounding the unexplored Martian north pole on Sunday, ending a 10-month journey from Earth with a harrowing descent, slowed by parachute and braking rockets. Signals confirming the three-legged spacecraft's arrival reached NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at 6:53 p.m. CDT, unleashing a chorus of cheers and hugs from an anxious squad of flight controllers. The blue-and-gold lander is the cornerstone of a $457 million mission designed to...

2008-05-24 16:49:26

DENVER, Colorado — Getting the Phoenix Mars Lander down and dirty on the red planet is an engineering saga stretching out over a decade. Its mission "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft and instruments from two prior tries to reach the red planet: the Mars Polar Lander that failed to phone home in 1999 and a 2001 lander that was mothballed and shelved by NASA. The builders of those two earlier spacecraft here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems have taken lessons learned to send...

2008-05-23 23:09:44

When NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander sets down in the Martian arctic on Sunday, it will open a new, icy frontier for scientists back on Earth. Phoenix, a stationary lander set to make a planned May 25 descent to the Martian surface, is going to where no probe has gone before - the northern plains of Vastitas Borealis on Mars. "Ten years ago, you wouldn't have chosen this spot at all because it looks just like every other part of Mars," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith...

2008-05-22 19:04:23

It's go time for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. After nearly 10 months speeding across 422 million miles (679 million km), the Phoenix spacecraft is just days away from plunging into the Martian atmosphere on Sunday to land near the north pole of Mars. "We've been working quite hard all the way along," said Deborah Bass, Phoenix's deputy principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "The feeling around here is that we are cautiously...

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2008-05-23 13:21:53

A NASA operated robotic spacecraft is scheduled to land Sunday on Mars, but scientists from a lab at the University of Arizona will be telling the robot what to do.The Phoenix Mars Lander must make a successful touchdown in the northern polar region of the red planet before NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will turn over scientific control to the Tucson researchers. The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory has been dealing with missions to the red planet since 1964.This will mark the...

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2008-05-22 18:25:00

The Phoenix spacecraft is only two days away from entry, descent and landing on Mars "“ the most difficult and scariest phase that any robotic lander must face. But the spacecraft is healthy, right on target, and even predicted to have good landing weather, team leaders from The University of Arizona, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin said at a NASA headquarters news briefing in Washington, D.C., today. "The latest calculation from our navigation team shows the...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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