Bruce Murray Space Image Library
Phoenix spotted by HiRISE against Heimdall crater as it descends
Filed under best of, spacecraft, pics of spacecraft in space, Phoenix, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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.
NASA / JPL / U. Arizona
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.
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