New pictures of Phoenix..!

Phoenix might have stopped sending back pictures of its landing site, up near the north pole of Mars, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of it, or that it’s not being watched. Last October the amazing HiRISE camera onboard NASA’s Mars reconaissance Orbiter was trained on the Phoenix lander, and some great images were taken of it, sitting on the frosty surface of Mars. I’ve cropped them, colourised some of them, and here they are. Please click on each one to bring up a full-size version.

It’s so great to see Phoenix again! Hope she’s enjoying her long, and well-earned, sleep…


If you look closely you’ll just be able to make out Phoenix at bottom left, the crash-mark of the heatshield top centre, and the backshell and parachute far right. Zoom in on the latter and you can see this…


That’s pretty amazing, but what does Phoenix itself look like when zoomed in on..?


That’s a fantastic image because, as Doug Ellison pointed out in a Twitter, you can actually see the central parts of Phoenix’s solar arrays. Unbelievable… ๐Ÿ™‚

But I know what you really want – some colour! Let’s add that…


Wow… look, you can even see the lines connecting the parachute to the backshell…! But what about Phoenix..? Ok, here you go…


… and from a different colour set…


I feel a bit emotional seeing those images… Phoenix was such an exciting, breathless, race-against-time mission that seemed to go by in a flash. I miss it, a lot.

There are some BIG science results coming from Phoenix soon, so keep en eye out for those. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing Phoenix again. Always good to catch up with old friends, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚


~ by phoenixpics on March 11, 2009.

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