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Phoenix spotted by HiRISE against Heimdall crater as it descends

Phoenix spotted by HiRISE against Heimdall crater as it descends

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NASA / JPL / U. Arizona

Phoenix spotted by HiRISE against Heimdall crater as it descends
This amazing image was captured as Phoenix came in for its Mars landing on May 25, 2008.  The HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter pointed at Phoenix, which is seen here against the background of a 10-kilometer-diameter crater called Heimdall.

The dramatic view makes it appear that Phoenix is falling into the crater, but in fact Phoenix was 20 kilometers closer to HiRISE than Heimdall, and it landed nowhere near the crater.  The photo was taken 20 seconds after Phoenix' parachute opened.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Explore related images: pics of spacecraft in space, best of, Phoenix, spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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