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Latest Mars Polar Lander Stories

Lunar Lander Thrusters Go Through Testing
2012-03-06 05:04:43

[ Watch the Video ] Europe´s ambition of touching down at the Moon´s south pole by 2018 has been boosted by recent test firings of the craft´s thrusters. The robot lander will prove new techniques for sending humans to the Moon and assess lunar hazards. With no atmosphere on the Moon, Lunar Lander cannot rely on parachutes to slow its descent. Instead, the craft will need to fire its engines in a rather unconventional way. One of these thrusters was recently put...

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2010-10-11 07:40:00

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., collaborated with NASA's White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M., and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, Calif., to successfully complete a series of thruster tests at the White Sands test facility. The test will aid in maneuvering and landing the next generation of robotic lunar landers that could be used to explore the moon's surface and other airless celestial bodies. The Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project at...

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2010-01-12 07:20:00

Beginning Jan. 18, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will listen for possible, though improbable, radio transmissions from the Phoenix Mars Lander, which completed five months of studying an arctic Martian site in November 2008. The solar-powered lander operated two months longer than its three-month prime mission during summer on northern Mars before the seasonal ebb of sunshine ended its work. Since then, Phoenix's landing site has gone through autumn, winter and part of spring. The lander's...

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2008-10-30 09:55:00

NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander entered safe mode late yesterday in response to a low-power fault brought on by deteriorating weather conditions. While engineers anticipated that a fault could occur due to the diminishing power supply, the lander also unexpectedly switched to the "B" side of its redundant electronics and shut down one of its two batteries. During safe mode, the lander stops non-critical activities and awaits further instructions from the mission team. Within hours of receiving...

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2008-10-15 13:00:00

The Phoenix Lander over the weekend successfully weathered a regional dust storm that temporarily lowered its solar power, and the team is back investigating the Red Planet's northern plains. The increasing opacity in the atmosphere from the storm decreased the power reaching the Phoenix's solar arrays. So on Martian days, or sols, 135-136 of the mission (Oct. 11-12), Phoenix scientists and engineers curtailed many of the lander's science activities, such as collecting some data from its...

2008-10-09 15:00:19

The U.S. space agency's Phoenix Lander is investigating soil on Mars' northern plains for signs that water was once present. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the lander, during the past two weeks, used its 8-foot-long robotic arm to move a rock nicknamed "Headless" about 16 inches and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. The robotic arm scraped the soil under the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and atomic-force...

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2008-09-30 07:00:00

NASA announced on Monday it was extending the Mars Phoenix lander's mission, saying it will operate until it dies in the cold, dark Martian winter. Since it was dropped onto the Martian surface in May, the Phoenix lander has already operated far longer than expected and its controllers said they would squeeze every drop of life they could out of the solar-powered lander. The lander found evidence that the chemical makeup of the dust on the surface of Mars resembles that of sea water, adding...

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2008-09-18 13:42:53

The Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this image of the spacecraft's crumpled heat shield on Sept. 16, 2008, the 111th Martian day of the mission. The 2-1/2 meter (about 8-1/2 feet) heat shield landed southeast of Phoenix, about halfway between the spacecraft and its backshell/parachute. The backshell/parachute touched ground 300 meters (1,000 ft) to the south of the lander. The dark area to the right of the heat shield is the "bounce mark" it made on impact with the Red...

2008-06-01 07:31:14

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander may have already caught its first glimpse of Martian ice less than a week after arriving at its new red planet home. New images released Saturday reveal what could be a patch of exposed ice beneath the Phoenix lander, mission managers said in an announcement today. Phoenix beamed the images back to Earth late Friday from its Vastitas Borealis landing site in the northern polar region of Mars after using a robotic arm-mounted camera to peer beneath its...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.