First time ever...

Saleem

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For the first time ever, a satellite's descent onto another planet's surface was photographed from another satellite

This is from NASA's Phoenix project, and its parachute landing on Mars.

Nice animation on how they got the pictures:
http://www.nasa.gov/mov/230220main_9247_web2.mov

http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/phoenix-descent.php






More info on the Phoenix project:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/
 

Saleem

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Last Sunday I believe. I just saw on CNN that they already think they found ice

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/news/phoenix-20080531.html

The thrusters used in the descent blew away 2-6 inches of Martian dust and it seems that under this loose soil, there may be a frozen ice shelf. That'd be really interesting.

Yes, I know I'm a huge dork. But this is interesting :)

Fun Fact - the past several landings have been with airbags not thrusters which is why they havent seen this earlier. but NASA had to turn to thrusters eventually to gain experience as they'll be necessary for larger and/or manned missions to Mars
 

Vick

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I watched this whole thing live on Nasa TV, it was pretty damn cool... They didnt use the airbags because this robot is way too big for airbags... They say they're searching for ice under the "dust", but doesn't mars already have ice on the north pole? Why are we searching for ice when we already know it's there? and now I think they're having some short circuit problems... Why cant we just let the japanese/chinese wire our electronics? hahahahaa...
 

kinnell

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Wow this topic's subject title "First Time Ever" is sooo misleading. ::)




.... lol, i was like wtf
 

Saleem

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Vick said:
but doesn't mars already have ice on the north pole? Why are we searching for ice when we already know it's there?
Both N & S poles have ice; up until a few years ago, we thought it was all solid CO2/dry ice since the atmosphere was the same. only recently we found water ice is buried underneath the layers of dry ice. this mission has plenty of other goals but i dont think we had explored an 'ice shelf' under the soil yet, either.
 
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