Will Phoenix rise from the ice?

The Phoenix robot, left by NASA on the Martian Pole last Martian Fall, has been hidden by seasonal darkness and is presumably covered with ice. The explorer had performed very well during its mission, and it is not expected to have survived the winter.

However, if, when sunshine warms its frosty panels, the science robot develops a positive energy balance, its circuits still work, Phoenix will alternately use its two radios and its two antennas to send out a signal. In the mean time, the Odyssey, which is a NASA flying robot circling the planet, will try to pick up this signal and re-establish communications.

Essentially, Odyssey will ask Phoenix how it’s doing, and Phoenix will provide information on its condition. Depending on the results of any such contact (which is not likely to happen at all) NASA may press Phoenix into extended service.

Here’s a picture of the Phoenix lander taken on Jan. 6, 2010 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:


Details here.

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9 thoughts on “Will Phoenix rise from the ice?

  1. By “upside down”, I meant as displayed on the web page. On this page, the top edge of the green box above is the lower green edge on the image I linked to in comment 1.

    A page for a photo of June 2008 (linked from the source image page) reports that North is approximately down for this image orientation.

  2. Yea, but … I clipped that image from the same image you linked to (and that I linked to, indirectly) and I did not rotate the image. This can only mean that image was rotated by NASA since they put it up.

  3. Ahh, that suggestion makes sense. Now, the 2 NASA images have the same orientation. Perhaps someone posted the recent image with North up. Then, someone else decided consistency with the older image was better, since NASA compares the images in the more recent post.

  4. OK, the image I downloaded (from the same place both of us are looking) is a different filename. Since they send me press releases, and this time I posted it right away, it may well be that they had a different image up at first and swapped it.

  5. Yeah, thanks, I fixed it. But I just want you to know that I don’t beleive in that rule. I mean really, what a fucking dumb rule. Possessive is a standard grammatical features, elision is a stylistic add on. Whoever came up with that rule should be hung by the participle until dea.

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