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Latest Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Stories

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2008-07-22 20:35:00

Phoenix early Tuesday finished its longest work shift of the mission. The lander stayed awake for 33 hours, completing tasks that included rasping and scraping by the robotic arm, in addition to atmosphere observations in coordination with simultaneous observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. "Our rasping test yesterday gave us enough confidence that we're now planning for the next use of the rasp to be for acquiring a sample to be delivered to TEGA," said Phoenix project manager...

2008-07-17 09:00:37

New findings show diverse, wet environments on ancient Mars WASHINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Mars once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life, according to two new studies based on data from instruments on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). By combining data from these high-tech instruments, scientists have identified three principal classes of water-related minerals dating to the early history of...

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2008-07-16 15:05:00

WASHINGTON -- Two studies based on data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed that the Red Planet once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life. One study, published in the July 17 issue of Nature, shows that vast regions of the ancient highlands of Mars, which cover about half the planet, contain clay minerals, which can form only in the presence of water. Volcanic lavas buried the clay-rich regions...

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2008-07-10 13:00:00

Scientists running the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, known as HiRISE, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have processed more details in an amazing image their camera captured as the Phoenix spacecraft descended through Mars' atmosphere during its landing on May 25, 2008. New analysis has turned up what likely is Phoenix's heat shield falling toward Mars' surface, they conclude. HiRISE, run from The University of Arizona, made history by taking the first image of a spacecraft...

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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,...

2008-05-27 16:47:32

This story was updated at 4:13 p.m. EDT. PASADENA, Calif. A spacecraft orbiting Mars has photographed the Phoenix Mars Lander on the surface of the red planet, NASA scientists announced today. Mission controllers also said the mission seems to have hit its first snag as the radio on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which communicates with Phoenix, has shut itself off due to an unknown problem. Despite this setback, Phoenix seems to be doing just fine. "Phoenix is...

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2008-05-27 15:15:00

NASA's Phoenix Lander is ready to begin moving its robotic arm, first unlatching its wrist and then flexing its elbow. Mission scientists are eager to move Phoenix's robotic arm, for that arm will deliver samples of icy terrain to their instruments made to study this unexplored Martian environment. The team sent commands for moving the arm on Tuesday morning, May 27, to NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for relay to Phoenix. However, the orbiter did not relay those commands to the lander,...

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2008-05-26 16:10:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- A telescopic camera in orbit around Mars caught a view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suspended from its parachute during the lander's successful arrival at Mars Sunday evening, May 25. The image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter marks the first time ever one spacecraft has photographed another one in the act of landing on Mars. Meanwhile, scientists pored over initial images from Phoenix, the first ever...

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...

2008-05-22 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...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'