Greetings From Mars
Posted on May 25, 2008
For seven agonizing minutes, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena had no idea if the $420 million and countless hours invested in the Phoenix Mars Lander would amount to more than a black spot on the Red Planet. Ultimately the mobile laboratory was able to dodge the 50 percent failure rate for Mars landings and beam back a few snapshots to prove it arrived safely in the northern polar region.
More photos from the Phoenix lander can be found on NASA’s Web site.
AP via Yahoo:
Cheers swept through mission control when the touchdown signal from the Phoenix Mars Lander was detected after a nailbiting descent. Engineers and scientists hugged and high-fived one another.
“In my dreams it couldn’t have gone as perfectly as it went,” project manager Barry Goldstein said. “It went right down the middle.”
The initial pictures were primarily to give engineers information on the condition of the lander including its power supply and the health of its science instruments. An image showed the lander unfurled its solar panels as planned after the dust settled.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona