Monday, May 26, 2008
Phoenix has Landed
The Phoenix lander has successfully touched down on Mars.
The lander carries a CD which includes the names of my children.
No images yet (images now, see update below), but the lander is sending back telemetry and has landed somewhere flat "like a table" someone just yelled in amongst all the cheering. The Lander is also facing east-west as planned. The solar arrays need to be deployed now. If successful (highly likely since re-entry is the hard part, and they have landed on a flat surface [see update]), Phoenix will begin it's search for water.
UPDATE: The solar panels have successfully deployed, and the first images of the Martian North Pole have come back relayed through Mars Oddessy. It's pretty featureless (well, that was the point, they wanted to land somewhere safe and flat). More images can be found at the Phoenix Gallery. So far there are lots of shots of the lander and the surrounding terrain. These are black and white images mostly to confirm the lander is okay and everything is working. The NASA Phoenix Blog has a timeline, and the Phoenix home page also has steadily updated information.