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Latest Mare Boreum quadrangle Stories

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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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2008-05-22 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...

2008-05-22 04:30:00

Science What advantages does the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) have over the Viking mission's Gas Chromatograph in detecting organics? The Phoenix mission has two advantages over the Viking mission with respect to organics. The first is that Phoenix is slowly heating the sample to 1000 C, whereas Viking heated very quickly to 500 C. There are many organics thought to be possibly stable on Mars that vaporize in the 700 C to 800 C range. These types of organics are often call...

2008-05-22 04:30:00

Peter Smith of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory heads the Phoenix Mission, where hundreds of dedicated individuals from around the world are teaming together to explore the arctic plains of Mars. Peter Smith is supported by talented science, project management and payload management teams with a wealth of experience in Mars exploration. Science Team Principal Investigator Peter Smith is supported by a science team with experience in all previous landed Mars missions....

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2008-05-22 03:40:00

Development The Phoenix Mars Lander is currently undergoing final testing and assembly in preparation for its August 2007 launch. Spacecraft assembly is occurring at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. Integrating all the subsystems (e.g., thermal, electrical, mechanical, and communications) onto the lander's structure is the first step in the assembly process. Science instruments are then installed onto the lander deck and electrically integrated to the spacecraft. Software...

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2008-05-21 07:55:00

The Phoenix Mars Mission has a collaborative approach to space exploration. As the very first of NASA's Mars Scout class, Phoenix combines legacy and innovation in a framework of a true partnership: government, academia, and industry. Scout class missions are led by a scientist, known as a Principal Investigator (PI). Peter Smith of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory serves as Phoenix's PI and is responsible for all aspects of the mission. The Phoenix Mission has a...

2008-05-13 17:07:05

This story was updated at 1:33 p.m. EDT. WASHINGTON — With just 12 days to go until its Mars arrival, NASA's Phoenix lander is functioning well and on course to be the first mission to land in the frigid, arctic regions of the red planet, NASA officials said today. A planned maneuver to adjust Phoenix's course was canceled last Saturday because the spacecraft is on track for its May 25 landing, said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion...