http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0806/de ... 17_big.jpg
wow !http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0806/Ph ... 9Jun08.jpg
and holy cow, snow queen at MARS!.. sounds like phoenix just landed over thin surface of sand/rock over a possible frozen lake/ocean!?!?
http://planetary.org/news/2008/0601_Hol ... ed_on.html
Another image that came into the University of Arizona Phoenix Science Operations Center late Friday night showed an even larger, white patch under another part of the lander, so substantial a patch that it had team members exclaiming “Holy Cow,” hence its name.
“The thrusters have interacted with the surface and thrown soil aside revealing a bright hard layer that seems to parallel the surface. The majority opinion, although it is not unanimous, is that we have uncovered ice about four to six inches under the soil,” he said. “But this is an astounding picture.”
great! hopefully its ice and not some other frozen liquid.. interesting times ahead.
The final determination about what Snow Queen and Holy Cow are revealing "will come with the analysis of the material,” said Keller. “The patches we’re discussing we can’t reach, but we think this extend in all the directions so we’ll be able to dig and do the analysis.”
hope the patch is not the only icy [or whatever that is] area there.
The ice, he clarified, is like the ice we know and not the carbon dioxide (CO2) ice known to be present on Mars. “The temperatures are not right for CO2 ice,” he noted. “It’s way too cold and CO2 ice would evaporate quickly.”
cool for our Virgin CEO who is planning for MARS occupation.. he wants to heat up the planet within next 100 years., by microbial deployments.. CO2 means all it has to do is heat up those CO2s to warm up the planet.
“The TEGA team has come up with a workaround that uses a backup filament to the filament in the ion source they believe is bad and that is the workaround they will be implementing today."
That is a learning for ISRO as well for Chandrayan [if any landers are planned].. backups!!! backups!! wonder how they re-configure all this.. interesting!
The TEGA team suffered a similar filament failure just before launch and though the instrument was diassembled, repaired, and cleaned before it was buttoned up for launch last year, the team now believes “contamination” is the culprit, Spencer said in today’s telecon press conference.
mmm.. and who said failures never repeat once fixed.. the fix is always for certain conditions.. they perhaps missed something or the error correction did not anticipate something entirely new. can't regress at MARS I guess.
Right now, added Keller, there is “a preference” for Snow Queen. “It’s close and we can look in detail and there we have the chance to see changes,” he said. “If it’s ice and it sublimes, then we have the chance to look at it and detect changes and this is I think very important so I think this is a clear priority.”
The Phoenix team is currently relying on Mars Odyssey for uplinking its commands to its charge, since MRO’s Electra UHF radio is still under investigation, according to Spencer, although the MRO communications system is being used to downlink data to the team.
“The flight team and the spacecraft continue to perform extremely well and we’re moving ahead with our plans," summed up Spencer today. "Things are going extremely well."
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.