Complete Journey of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander

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Phoenix Mission comes to an end

The complete journey of Phoenix Mars Lander as NASA looses contact with its space probe on Mars. US space agency NASA has lost contact with its Mars mission-- Phoenix Mars Lander -- five months after it landed on the red planet's surface. Launched on August 4th, 2007, Phoenix landed on May 25, rock on mars2008, farther north than any previous spacecraft that had landed on the surace of Mars.

Phoenix findings support the goal of learning the history of water on Mars. Additional findings include documenting a mildly alkaline soil environment unlike any found by earlier Mars missions; finding small concentrations of salts that could be nutrients for life; discovering perchlorate salt, which has implications for ice and soil properties; and finding calcium carbonate, a marker of effects of liquid water.


Complete Journey on Mars:

NASA image shows Phoenix Mars Lander's solar panel and the lander's Robotic Arm with a sample in the scoop.robotic arm The image was taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager looking west on the 16th Martian day after landing.

The Robotic Arm Camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander captured this image underneath the lander on the fifth Martian day of the mission. Descent thrusters on the bottom of the lander are visible at the top of the image. The abundance of excavated smooth and level surfaces adds evidence to a hypothesis that the underlying material is an ice table covered by a thin blanket of soil.

Phoenix surfaceThis view from the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the first impression -- dubbed Yeti and shaped like a wide footprint -- made on the Martian soil by the robotic arm scoop on the sixth Martian day of the mission. Touching the ground is the first step toward scooping up soil and ice and delivering the samples to the lander's onboard experiments.

This image from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera shows material from the Martian surface captured by the Robotic Arm scoop during its first test dig and dump on the seventh Martian day of the mission. The test sample shown was taken from the digging area informally known as 'Knave of Hearts'.

This image was taken by Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 15th Martian day after landing. This panorama looks to the southeast and shows rocks casting shadows, polygons on the surface and in the far horizon, Phoenix's NASA mars armbackshell gleams in the distance.

This image, taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on the 49th Martian day of the mission, shows the silver colored rasp protruding from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm scoop. The scoop is inverted and the rasp is pointing up. The Robotic Arm Camera is pointed toward the ground.

Photographs: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

 

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