No Signal Heard During First Day of Resumed Listening for Phoenix

Feb 24, 2010
Artist concept of Odyssey. Image credit: NASA/JPL

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Mars Odyssey began a second campaign Monday to check on whether the Phoenix Mars Lander has revived itself after the northern Martian winter. The orbiter received no signal from the lander during the first 10 overflights of this campaign.

Odyssey will listen for Phoenix during 50 additional overflights, through Feb. 26, during the current campaign.

Phoenix landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and operated successfully in the Martian arctic for about two months longer than its planned three-month mission. Operations ended when waning sunlight left the solar-powered craft with insufficient energy to keep working. The season at the Phoenix landing site is now mid-springtime, with the sun above the horizon for roughly 22 hours each Martian day. That is comparable to the illumination that Phoenix experienced a few weeks after completing its three-month primary mission.

Phoenix was not designed to withstand the extremely low temperatures and the ice load of the Martian arctic winter. In the extremely unlikely event that the lander has survived the winter and has achieved a stable energy state, it would operate in a mode where it periodically awakens and transmits a signal to any orbiter in view.

A third campaign to check on whether Phoenix has revived itself is scheduled for April 5-9, when the sun will be continuously above the Martian horizon at the Phoenix site.

Explore further: Curiosity brushes 'Bonanza king' target anticipating fourth red planet rock drilling

Related Stories

NASA to Check for Unlikely Winter Survival of Mars Lander

Jan 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Beginning Jan. 18, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will listen for possible, though improbable, radio transmissions from the Phoenix Mars Lander, which completed five months of studying an arctic ...

Phoenix Spacecraft Commanded to Unstow Arm

May 28, 2008

Scientists leading NASA's Phoenix Mars mission from the University of Arizona in Tucson sent commands to unstow its robotic arm and take more images of its landing site early today.

Phoenix Sees the Colors of Mars

May 28, 2008

The northern polar plains of Mars can be seen in approximate true color in this image taken by NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander.

Recommended for you

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

3 hours ago

It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof ...

Students see world from station crew's point of view

Aug 19, 2014

NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth ...

Mars deep down

Aug 19, 2014

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mongander
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
I didn't know NASA was still doing space stuff.
WithOneT
Feb 25, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.