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Phoenix Mars mission
Smith, Peter H. Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
- Local geology
- Chemistry of the soil
- Habitability of site
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The Phoenix mission was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to Mars from Cape Canaveral on August 4, 2007. The spacecraft passed an uneventful journey of 400 million miles to Mars, entering the planet's upper atmosphere on May 25, 2008. The “seven minutes of terror” during entry, descent, and landing (Fig. 1) captivated viewers around the world, and first images of the alien plains were returned 2 h later. The landing site, at 68°N latitude and 233°E longitude, was in a broad, shallow valley on the ejecta blanket of a modern crater named Heimdal (after the Norse guardian of the bridge between the real world and the spirit world).
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