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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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RE: NASA is wrong
By Belard on 12/6/2008 9:56:51 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm... NASA uses a budget that is very tiny. The fake war started by the fake-so-to-be-gone President has blown $10billion dollars a month, costs over 4,000 American lives (over 20,000 severely wounded) and anywhere from 150,000~500,000 dead in Iraq.

The Space Shuttle is not small. Its far bigger than your truck. Its not looking for Star Trek... you can go to your local WalMart and get Star Trek for $15~60 depending on what you buy. It's a delivery truck for space, for the most part.

And its SPACE technology - things that are developed for space or discovered about things beyond our planet, that has advanced America (or used to)in Science, tech and medical. Check out your WalMart shoes with the Velcro straps - yep, space tech. The computer you're working on? The need for faster and better computers, Yup - Space (and military).

Also, exploration teaches us about our home, where we come from and where we may go. Because in the big scheme of things... our little planet is all we have and we're not going anywhere else, soon. (Give it scale, lets say the Earth was the size of a mouse, our planet still wouldn't be the size of a galaxy.) If you live in the city, drive out of town at night and look up on a clear night. Those little white dots we call "stars" are mostly galaxies. In case you don't know what they look like, here's a crappy picture showing some at various distances in one photographic shot:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h1/annas890/c86f...

Here is a close up view of one:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h1/annas890/40eb...

The time it has taken for our solar system (and earth) to make a revolution, the Dinorsaurs and come and gone and we're brand new.

Are there far more reasons to be ashamed to be an "American", you betcha!


RE: NASA is wrong
By Belard on 12/6/2008 10:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, found a better picture of some Galaxies from Hubble. Very cool photo. http://space.about.com/library/graphics/galaxiesga... (2400x3000)

There are billions, even hundreds of billions of stars in many Galaxies (That is more stars than Bill Gates worth in pennies) and there are about 100 billion Galaxies.

To Learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxies

Enjoy!


RE: NASA is wrong
By nineball9 on 12/6/2008 4:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Those little white dots we call "stars" are mostly galaxies.

No, only a few objects outside our galaxy are visible to the naked eye and they are all pretty dim. A few of the galaxies of the Local Group such as Andromeda (M31) and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds in the Southern Hemisphere can be seen with the naked eye. Very dim, the Triangulum Galaxy (M33), also part of the Local Group, is generally considered to be the most distant object visible to the naked eye. Bode's Galaxy (M81) can be seen with binoculars, though some can see it without an aid. Gobular Clusters outside the plane of the Milky Way can be seen though they are part of the galaxy.

There are only about 8,000 stars visible to the naked eye (8,479 according to this site http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/visible_from... , about 2,500 from at any given spot and time with perfect viewing conditions.)

However, the Hubble Deep Field and the Hubble Ultra Deep Field images are amazing!


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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