NASA Gives Phoenix Lander One More Chance

PASADENA, Calif., April 6 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency says its Mars Odyssey Orbiter is conducting a third campaign this week, attempting to determine the status of the Phoenix Mars Lander.

The orbiter is listening for a signal from the lander that would indicate it is still operating after a martian winter it was not designed to survive.

NASA scientists said the orbiter has received no signals from the solar-powered lander during two listening campaigns earlier this year. While Odyssey listens for Phoenix during 60 overflights this week, the Phoenix site will be in around-the-clock sunshine.

Scientists at NASA’s Pasadena, Calif., Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the project, said although it’s not designed to withstand winter conditions the return of abundant springtime sunlight to the martian site might revive the lander. So far, they said, said there has been no indication the lander is still operating.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Categorized | Other, Solar
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.