Martian winter claims Phoenix probe

 

Nasa has officially called an end to the Phoenix Mars mission, saying it has not heard from the probe for over a week.

The probe has found that water exists on Mars and also proved that a landing on Mars is under rocket power alone, something that could be crucial for planned human exploration there.

"Phoenix not only met the tremendous challenge of landing safely, it accomplished scientific investigations on 149 of its 152 Martian days as a result of dedicated work by a talented team," said Phoenix Project Manager Barry Goldstein at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

As the region of Mars where the probe is sited its batteries are no longer receiving enough power to maintain a charge and it is unlikely that it will revive in the spring because of the amount of dust that will contaminate its solar panels.

"Phoenix provided an important step to spur the hope that we can show Mars was once habitable and possibly supported life," said Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at Nasa Headquarters in Washington.

"Phoenix was supported by orbiting Nasa spacecraft providing communications relay while producing their own fascinating science. With the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory, the Mars Program never sleeps."

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


Martian winter claims Phoenix probe
The Nasa Phoenix module, showing its solar panel and one foot.
 
 
 
Top Stories
Content, cost & constant innovation: How Foxtel plans to take on Netflix
Nell Payne inhabits the “brave new world of blue strings and networking”. Just don't ask her to put a TV screen on your microwave.
 
Sending in the drones
Margins are getting tighter in the industrial services industry, so Transfield Services' Stephen Phillips looks offshore - and to the skies - for the solutions he needs to keep pace.
 
Westpac fires starting pistol on core banking upgrade
St George readies itself for move to Celeriti.
 
 
The Nasa Phoenix module, showing its solar panel and one foot.
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  43%
 
No
  57%
TOTAL VOTES: 532

Vote