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Latest Viking program Stories

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...

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...

2008-05-13 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...

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2008-04-10 20:50:41

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA engineers have adjusted the flight path of the Phoenix Mars Lander, setting the spacecraft on course for its May 25 landing on the Red Planet. "This is our first trajectory maneuver targeting a specific location in the northern polar region of Mars," said Brian Portock, chief of the Phoenix navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission's two prior trajectory maneuvers, made last August and October, adjusted the flight path of...

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2007-08-24 00:50:00

A new interpretation of data from NASA's Viking landers indicates that 0.1% of the Martian soil tested could have a biological origin. Dr Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, believes that the subfreezing, arid Martian surface could be home to organisms whose cells are filled with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.  In a presentation at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam on Friday 24th August, Dr Houtkooper will describe how he has used data from...

2007-08-06 18:12:21

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp company, provided propulsion for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission which launched on Aug. 4 at 5:26 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A, Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is the first launch in NASA's "Scout Program" -- missions that are designed to be lower cost complements to larger missions being planned for NASA's Mars Exploration Program....

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2007-08-04 04:45:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A robotic dirt and ice digger blasted off Saturday on a 422 million-mile journey to Mars that NASA hopes will culminate next spring in the first ever landing within the red planet's Arctic Circle. The unmanned Delta rocket carrying the Phoenix Mars Lander rose from its seaside pad at 5:26 a.m., exactly on time, and hurtled through the clear moonlit sky. It was easily visible for nearly five minutes, a bright orange speck in a spray of stars. If all goes as planned - a...

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2007-07-30 17:35:00

LOS ANGELES -- A three-legged NASA spacecraft with a long arm for digging trenches is going to the Martian north pole to study if the environment is favorable for primitive life. But before it can start its work, the Phoenix Mars Lander must survive landing on the surface of the rocky, dusty Red Planet, which has a reputation of swallowing manmade probes. Of the 15 global attempts to land spacecraft on Mars, only five have made it. "Mars has the tendency to throw you curve balls," said...

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2007-02-06 08:15:00

More than 30 years ago, when NASA's two Viking landers looked for signs of life on Mars, the results were ambiguous. Although no strong evidence has since emerged for life on Mars, the planet now seems considerably more hospitable than it once did "“ especially since the announcement last December that liquid water had flowed on its surface within the last few years. But it will be the European Space Agency (ESA), with its ExoMars mission, that will deliver the first comprehensive...

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2006-12-04 19:15:00

New images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show three additional NASA spacecraft that have landed on Mars: the Spirit rover active on the surface since January 2004 and the two Viking landers that successfully reached the surface in 1976. The orbiter's high-resolution camera took a dramatic photograph of Spirit's twin rover, Opportunity, at the edge of a Martian crater two months ago. Besides providing new portraits of these robotic emissaries, the images provide scientists valuable...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.