Sunday, May 25, 2008

Landing Day!

From BBC here:

The final seven minutes of the probe's ten-month journey is regarded as the riskiest part of the mission.

After it enters the top of the Martian atmosphere at nearly 5.7km/s (13,000 mph), the probe must perform a series of manoeuvres to come safely to rest.

It will release a parachute, use pulsed thrusters to slow to a fast walking speed, then come to a halt on three legs.

If all goes to plan, the Phoenix lander will reach the surface of Mars at 0053 BST (1953 EDT) on 26 May.

Nasa controllers will know in about 15 minutes whether the attempt has been successful.

I like the name Phoenix because of the previous landings that have been attempted and failed (Mars Polar lander, Beagle 2, etc.). This mission will raise from the flames and be a successful one. (It has a 50-50!)

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