Phoenix Flying True Enough to Skip One Scheduled Adjustment

May 09, 2008
Phoenix Flying True Enough to Skip One Scheduled Adjustment
Artist concept of Phoenix spacecraft en route to Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander continues on course for its May 25 arrival at Mars. After targeting its certified landing site with a trajectory, or flight path, correction maneuver on April 10, the spacecraft's performance has been stable enough for the mission's operators to forgo the scheduled opportunity for an additional trajectory correction maneuver on May 10 and focus on the next such opportunity, on May 17.

The Phoenix navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., made that recommendation after assessing the trajectory this week and mission management accepted the recommendation late Thursday.

Phoenix has performed three flight path correction maneuvers since its Aug. 4, 2007, launch. Besides the May 17 one, the final opportunity for adjusting the course to hit the targeted landing area will be in the final 24 hours before landing.

The first possible confirmation time for the spacecraft's landing on May 25 will be at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The event would have happened 15 minutes and 20 seconds earlier on Mars, and then radio signals traveling at the speed of light will take 15 minutes and 20 seconds to cross the distance from Mars to Earth on that day.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What other worlds have we landed on?

Jan 14, 2015

Think of all the different horizons humans have viewed on other worlds. The dust-filled skies of Mars. The Moon's inky darkness. Titan's orange haze. These are just a small subset of the worlds that humans ...

Phoenix probe lands on Mars (Update 4)

May 25, 2008

NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed in the northern polar region of Mars Sunday to begin three months of examining a site chosen for its likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander's robotic ...

NASA Phoenix Mission Ready For Mars Landing

May 13, 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is preparing to end its long journey and begin a three-month mission to taste and sniff fistfuls of Martian soil and buried ice. The lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red ...

Recommended for you

Study of atmospheric 'froth' may help GPS communications

Feb 27, 2015

When you don't know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance. You may not realize that, especially at ...

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

Feb 27, 2015

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.