Spacecraft lands at Mars north pole, baby!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, May 26, 2008.

  1. dong20

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    PASADENA, Calif (Reuters) - A small science probe blazed through the salmon-coloured skies of Mars on Sunday, touching down on a frozen desert at the planet's north pole to search for water and assess conditions for sustaining life, NASA officials said.

    The spacecraft, known as Phoenix, landed at 12:53 a.m. British time Monday after a do-or-die plunge through the planet's thin atmosphere. It marked the first time that a spacecraft had successfully landed at one of the planet's polar regions.

    Pulled by Mars' gravity, Phoenix was tearing along at 20,400 kph before it entered the atmosphere, which slowed the craft so it could pop out a parachute and fire thruster rockets to gently float to the ground.

    "It's down, baby, it's down!," yelled a NASA flight controller, looking at signals from Mars showing that Phoenix had landed.


    Spacecraft lands at Mars north pole

    Given the Mars landing success rate, I can't blame you for yelling, baby!
     
  2. Flashy

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  3. transformer_99

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    Well, we've spent enough money accomplishing it, hopefully they'll find something that the rest of us can use, beyond the glory of those that were directly involved with the project.

    Here's an interesting story, 60 minutes had a piece on the people involved. Seems they are also gifted enough to play Carnegie Hall:

    CBS News Video - Top Stories and Video News Clips at CBSNews.com
     
  4. Skull Mason

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    disclosure is at hand
     
  5. erratic

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    Sweet. Here's hoping NASA has the same success they had with the rovers. Everyone focuses on the botched landings but those things have gone years past their expiration dates.

    One of the first photos is up on Astronomy Picture of the Day. Just google it.
     
  6. SteveHd

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    Being a space enthusiast, I'm delighted with the mission. It won't benefit me personally but I think it's worth doing for the sake of knowledge.

    I'd like to see more robotic missions even if that means fewer manned missions. We learn a lot more by sending robots to the planets than we do by sending men to low earth orbit again and again.

    The well-publicized "Mars jinx" is overrated. Only one of NASA's missions to Mars had a major failure. All others were by the Soviets and I think many of those were due to crapshoot mistakes that they could have avoided with better diligence.

    Short link to NASA Phoenix website: NASA - Phoenix
     
  7. lucky8

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    what do you think the chances are of them finding water 3 ft underneath the surface? personally, i think it is very possible
     
  8. SteveHd

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    Lucky, I think there's a good chance they'll find some -- in a form similar to permafrost -- but I don't think they'll find a substantial amount. That's my lay-person guess.

    I don't think there's any large aquifer deep down.
     
  9. Skull Mason

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    If people want to find life outside of our planet they need look no further than planet serpo
     
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