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NASA will try in the Martian Spring to contact Phoenix

NASA missions on Mars have been used to conduct a wide variety of scientific experiments. Much of the scientific scrutiny from NASA and other space agencies centers on Mars.

NASA launched Mars Phoenix lander in August of 2007 and sent it speeding towards Mars. In May of 2008, the Phoenix touched down and began its mission on the red planet. One of the tasks that Phoenix was sent to Mars to accomplish was to find out if water ice was present in the Martian soil.

Phoenix did find evidence that ice was in the Martian soil and after its three-month mission ended, NASA decided to keep Phoenix working. In November of 2008, NASA officially closed the mission Phoenix was conducting when it lost communications with the lander after it lost power and could no longer sustain itself.

NASA had expected Phoenix to lose power during the harsh Martian winter, though it continued to try to get the rover to respond to commands sent from satellites orbiting Mars to no avail. This week NASA reported that controllers have stopped trying to use the pair of probes orbiting Mars to communicate with Phoenix.

NASA says that Phoenix last communicated with the Mars Odyssey orbiter on November 2. Controllers tried on November 29 to raise Phoenix one final time. The advancing Martian winter is depriving the lander of the solar energy it needs to maintain working power levels.

NASA says that there is a remote chance that Phoenix could survive the -150 degree Martian winter and will try in the Martian springtime to re-establish contact with the lander.

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Excellence in Engineering
By mikeblas on 12/5/2008 3:02:21 PM , Rating: 3
The interpipes are full of clowns who couldn't engineer a paper bag, but show no hesitation when they have the chance to critize projects or products. It's sad to me that these comments are full of nothing more than dumb jokes, so far.

The Mars probes are incredible feats of engineering; highly successful, well-executed, over-delivered and at or under budget. I hope the NASA teams involved are deeply proud of their accomplishments and emboldened to try even more amazing things to help us learn about ourselves and the universe around us.

RE: Excellence in Engineering
By SpaceJumper on 12/5/2008 3:15:41 PM , Rating: 3
I believe next version of the Phoenix will have the spider legs with it. I hope NASA will find human bones on MARS.

RE: Excellence in Engineering
By uhgotnegum on 12/5/2008 3:39:14 PM , Rating: 5
I agree that very few clowns are good at engineering.

I also agree that all NASA teams should be proud of their accomplishments (and I'd also throw in that they shouldn't hang their heads when things don't turn out perfectly)

I further agree that people shouldn't be so quick to criticize what they don't know; knowledge does not come from watching the nightly news, either.

I disagree, however, and only if my insinuation is correct that you meant it in this way, that people who post "dumb jokes" as comments fall into the category of people who are too quick to criticize. Dumb jokes are not, primarily, intended to represent the actual opinion of someone; they are intended to be...well...dumb. People who are quick to criticize don't really care about delivery of the comment, generally.

RE: Excellence in Engineering
By kickoff877 on 12/6/2008 9:17:12 AM , Rating: 3
I guess I'm not a clown, just engineered a functional paper bag out of a sheet of paper. Small, compact and lightweight, perfect for a Mars mission. Kept dry, will even survive the Martian winter.

RE: Excellence in Engineering
By JKflipflop98 on 12/7/2008 2:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
Now, can you engineer your way out?

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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