Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

PHOENIX HAS LANDED!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

25-05-2008 20:09 CDT

Topics:

So it was a successful landing!! I just witnessed an informal press briefing with Peter Smith, Barry Goldstein, and some other folks, and they said that everything happened right on center. There isn't a lot of news yet, as the spacecraft quit sending signals to Earth (as planned) shortly after landing, but what they could say is that the spacecraft is tilted by 1/4 of a degree, which is about as close to flat as you could possibly have hoped. That means they probably don't have many rocks -- or at least they're not under the lander legs -- and the solar panels should be providing great power. Also, preliminary telemtry information suggests that they performed their "pirouette" as planned, so the panels should be oriented east-west.

We don't have confirmation yet that the solar panels opened. They had to wait to open the panels until the dust settled, so that was scheduled for 15 minutes after landing, during a comm blackout. The next opportunity to hear from the spacecraft is at 18:45 my time, that's 01:45 UTC, with another "bent-pipe" live relay through Odyssey. The most important thing we have to learn is whether those panels opened. We should get pictures of the panels. And if we're very, very lucky, we'll get more pictures than that.

While our site was down I was chatting over on my Ustream channel, and I broadcast that press briefing and saved it. I hear the audio wasn't that great, but it was somewhat intelligible, so check it out (if the Ustream archive is working properly). More to come later! I will probably be popping in and out of the Ustream chat room all evening, so stay tuned to theat.

 
See other posts from May 2008

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Advocacy

Election 2016

Space rarely makes a strong showing in national elections, despite the major state of transition NASA finds itself in today.

Help us catalog and source statements made by candidates referring to civil space issues.

Learn More

Featured Images

Planet 9
Titan's south polar vortex
Titan's haze
Dione from Rev 177
More Images

Featured Video

Asteroid Day 2016 Press Conf. with Bill Nye

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!