To see a nice, 995×2,551-pixel version, click on the image to the left.
Yesterday at 7:53pm EST, Earth received telemetry indicating that the Phoenix lander had safely touched down 15 minutes earlier.
The 15-minute lag is due to the speed of light and the distance to Mars.
a bunch of pics
shows the hint of Green Kryptonite that permeates the surface.
I think it would have been cool to start two quantum-state parties at 7:38pm – one where everyone celebrated the successful landing, and the other where everyone was sad that it had failed.
Technically, since the event wasn’t observed, the lander would have succeeded and failed at the same time until the signal arrived on Earth!
Ya, ok, maybe not.
But still, it would have been funny.
As it turns out the sad folk would have abandoned their room to party with the others!
I watched the landing in Earth-real-time (i.e. 15 minutes light speed delayed) on
over the internet.
At first I used QuickTime with the rtsp link on that page, but the audio wasn’t as good and the video was certainly no better,
so I ended up just staying on the NSASA TV page and used Leopards ctrl-scrollwheel zoom to make the streaming wmv fill the screen.
I phoned Andy to see if he was watching, and he told me it was showing on the Discovery Channel, so I switched over to that.
But I still had the laptop on NASA TV and switched back and forth, especially when Discovery went to commercial.
One thing I was disappointed by was that the landing visualization (which looked really cool) was not available in a good, HD-quality version.
Surely this would have been a good opportunity to use BitTorrent?
It’s interesting to note that the lander’s latitude and longitude are lat=68.011, long=-123.006, which on Earth would be
in the middle of Canada’s Tuktut Nogait National Park
The picture below has a more detailed version if you click on it.
Phoenix managed to just land inside its projected landing area.
The blue oval indicated the expected landing area.
Red cross is actual landing area.
Not sure what the red circle is. :-)
You can see the latest pics from the lander at this arizona.edu site