"Phoenix" will soon land on Mars and take up a job


14/05/2008

The lander NASA "Phoenix" (NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander) is preparing for the end of their long journey to the Red Planet. After landing, Phoenix will begin its three-month mission to study the Martian soil and hidden beneath the ice. Lander is scheduled to land on Mars on Sunday 25th May.

Phoenix will enter the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere at a speed of nearly 21 thousand km / h Seven minutes later the spacecraft must complete a series of maneuvers hard to slow down to about 8 km / h before his three "legs" reach the surface of the planet. Confirmation of the landing should arrive already at 19:53 ET.

Safely land a spacecraft on Mars - not an easy task. Only a minority of all attempts to land on Mars has been successful. The largest known to date can be a nuisance stones are large enough to prevent the landing or disclosure of solar panels. However, to reduce the level of this risk will help images of the surface of Mars made by the orbital complex NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The high resolution of these images allowed a good view of the landing site as well as individual stones of a size smaller than the lander. Scientists have deliberately chosen one of the least rocky areas of Mars, to minimize the risk of an unsuccessful landing.

Six years earlier, in 2002, it was discovered that beneath the surface of Mars has large deposits of water ice throughout the northern part of the planet. "Phoenix" to land north of the previous missions. Use the Rocker (longer than 2 meters), a solar-powered robot will be raking soil samples and ground ice. Airborne laboratory equipped with the necessary tools to conduct analyzes of the samples. Cameras and special weather station will collect information about the environment around the workplace.

The mission of "Phoenix" is not only the study of the northern part of the Martian permafrost, but also for evaluating the suitability for life of the cold end of the planet, occupying up to 25 percent of its surface. In addition, the scientists want to know whether the ice melts during cyclical climate changes. Another important question is whether the excavated samples contain carbon-based chemicals, which may indicate the possible existence of life on Mars.

Months later, after landing, Phoenix will begin to phase out its activities on the surface of the Red Planet as the onset of winter. In those latitudes, where he will work in the winter there is no sunlight, which is entirely dependent on the viability of the lander. Over time, the frost will cover the northern region as the cooling of the atmosphere, and, ultimately, to bury the "Phoenix" in the ice. All the details about the main events of the day widgets news let us know.

Original: Science.nasa.gov


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