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Emily LakdawallaMay 19, 2008

Some random items and updates

On Friday I posted an invitation for people to search Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter images for any wreckage of Mars Polar Lander. I had enough emails from volunteers over the weekend to assign each non-cloudy image to one searcher. My goal is to have at least five people checking each image -- so please consider having a look! Searchers might find informative this page on how the HiRISE images are processed from raw bits to final form. Also, someone asked me how the search area would change if Mars Polar Lander's crash was due to the cruise stage never separating or the parachute never opening. According to Rob Manning, the search area wouldn't change very much; the predicted landing point (the center of the ellipse) would move only a few kilometers downrange (southward), and the ellipse would be slightly longer north-to-south.

A programming note: our Planetfest event, taking place during the Phoenix landing on Sunday, is now SOLD OUT. It should be quite a party! You can still check out other related Phoenix landing events around the country, or watch via the Web in a number of locations. I plan to do another Ustream webcast from JPL on Sunday. I am not yet sure of the time of day -- I'm currently putting together an event timeline for the weekend, so stay tuned for that.

I've had a couple of requests for the chat log from the first Ustream broadcast. I did copy the log, but don't want to post it until it has been edited to remove the various messes made by spammers and trolls -- anyone want to volunteer to do that cleanup for me? I have too much Phoenix stuff to work on to have time for that.

Finally, I haven't linked to Planetary Radio for a while. Today's show is a preview of the Phoenix landing, including audio from the recent press conference.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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