Controllers in Pasadena began deployment of the Mars Phoenix’s 8-foot robotic arm on Thursday, a day late because of a communications glitch with a relay satellite. The arm will dig in the Martian permafrost, scooping up soil for analysis by instruments on the lander. NASA officials report that arm deployment went well and that the spacecraft is in great shape.
ESA’s Mars Express caught the sounds of the spacecraft’s descent into the atmosphere on Sunday. Listen to this amazing audio here.
A few other Phoenix-related stories you might have missed:
A Second Chance at Mars – The Space Review
“Mars can be a hostile world, and getting spacecraft to that planet has never been an easy task. However, as Jeff Foust reports, the recent successful landing of Phoenix demonstrated that sometimes even on Mars there are second chances.”
Science ‘rock star’ gets lively welcome at UA – Arizona Star
“‘We’ve got the science of our dreams laid out for us,’ the leader of the University of Arizona’s Phoenix Mars Mission said as he returned home Monday afternoon to a throng of cheering colleagues. Asked if he feels like a rock star, mission leader Peter Smith broke into a little air guitar at the campus celebration, singing a line from The Doors: ‘C’mon baby, light my fire.’”
University of Florida, Students Contribute to Mars Phoenix Spacecraft – The Alligator
“A NASA spacecraft, dubbed the Phoenix, reached Mars on Sunday equipped with a device created with the help of a UF team. The device will allow the landerâ€™s camera to capture accurate photos of the Martian terrain.”
Revealed: The time capsule DVD left on Mars for future Martians … that includes ‘Mars Attacks’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ – The Mail
“A special DVD of messages – that is, an interplanetary time capsule – has been left on Mars for future settlers (or even Martians) to discover. The digital time capsule, compiled by the Planetary Society, stores personal greetings from science fiction visionaries including 2001 author Arthur C Clarke, who died this year, and Ray Bradbury, author of the Martian Chronicles.”
Pioneer Aerospace Sees Parachute Float Phoenix Mars Lander To Mars Surface – The Hartford Courant
“Of the thousands of parachutes that Pioneer Aerospace Corp. makes every year, very few end up on Mars. On Sunday, an orange-and-white one did.”
Honeywell Navigation Unit Helps Successful Mars Landing – Honeywell Press Release
Honeywell announced today that its Miniature Inertial Measurement Units (MIMUs) helped successfully guide NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander to a safe landing May 25th on the planet’s surface.
Aerojet Celebrates Historic Landing of Phoenix Mars Lander – Aerojet Press Release
“Aerojet provided mission-critical propulsion for all phases of the voyage ranging from launch, cruise and for the smooth landing onto the northern polar region of Mars. This landing, the first successful actively guided descent onto the Martian surface since 1976, used 12 pulsing monopropellant hydrazine engines to guide the spacecraft to the surface. Eight Aerojet cruise engines guided the spacecraft en route.”