Old 04-13-2008, 07:50 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default NASA Selects Landing Site for Phoenix Mars Lander

Earlier this week, NASA made a course adjustment for its Phoenix Mars Lander which puts it on a path to land in "Green Valley" on the Red Planet late next month. The site was chosen for being a broad, flat expanse that is relatively free of rocks capable of damaging the lander when it sets down. The location will be confirmed pending further reconnaissance from an orbiting satellite. The probe's mission, which we've previously discussed, is to investigate subsurface ice. "The landing area is an ellipse about 62 miles by about 12 miles (100 kilometers by 20 kilometers). Researchers have mapped more than five million rocks in and around that ellipse, each big enough to end the mission if hit by the spacecraft during landing. Knowing where to avoid the rockier areas, the team has selected a scientifically exciting target that also offers the best chances for the spacecraft to set itself down safely onto the Martian surface."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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