Sunday, May 25, 2008

Phoenix Has Landed!

Thanks to Brian Jones, his Phoenix add-on, and his real-time web broadcast, I just watched Phoenix enter the atmosphere and land on Mars in really real time. The landing was simulated in Orbiter, but the time in Brian's simulation was Mars time, about 15 minutes ahead of the light-speed-delayed signals received and reported by NASA. In other words, the real Phoenix arrived on Mars when it did so in Brian’s Orbiter simulation. Then like everyone else, we had to wait 15 minutes to find out if the real spacecraft landed safely to the Mars surface when the simulated one did…

It made it! We’ll have to wait a bit for the first pictures but all the telemetry indicated a safe landing with just a quarter-degree tilt. Nice job JPL, University of Arizona, and Brian!

The sample screen here is what I watched – Brian’s video window (with an active chat session), NASA TV, and the mission clock from Arizona’s main Phoenix web site.

1 comment:

Happy said...

The latest pictures ARE HERE