“If all goes to plan..”

Phoenix landingAs previously mentioned here, shortly before 1am tonight [00.53 BST] Nasa’s Phoenix lander will, hopefully, touch down gently on the surface of Mars. The BBC have the Nasa animation of that hoped-for descent and a diary by one of the scientists working on the mission. Nasa have a Phoenix Landing blog where the first reports on the landing might appear and plenty of other material. As does the University of Arizona’s Phoenix Mission website. Fingers crossed, then. Adds Live coverage from 11pm [BST] on Nasa TV Update Phoenix has landed.
Phoenix landed

And Approximate colour image from Phoenix’s Surface Stereo Imager showing the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars.

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  • hotdogx

    RTE confirms the phoenix has landed safely sending back the first hi res pictures of the polar surface.

  • joeCanuck

    Clicking on “has landed” above reveals a picture of what looks very like the cover to my septic tank.
    Mmmmm, if they have shitters there must be civilized critters about.

  • Pete

    My maternal grandfather from Ballykine (near Ballinahinch) always said these types of landings were filmed in quarries on earth. Maybe he was right. Although he was born in 1897 and left school when 12.

  • joeCanuck

    Dammit, Pete (Baker), did you have to go and debunk my septic tank hypothesis.

    Other Pete,

    Maybe your grandpa was relying on the television program that proved, beyond a doubt, that the moon landings were indeed faked.

  • pauljames

    Wonderful image, I’m a sucker for the (even if approximated) colour of the atmosphere in the rover shots.
    If it’s not off thread could someone point me to the supernaturalist position if some evidence of extraterrestrial life is discovered?

  • joeCanuck

    That’s easy, pauljames. Same explanation as for the dinosaur bones – God put them there in order to test our faith. Too bad if you don’t believe. You’re going to hell. See you there.


    The largest Christian denomination has recently said they are open to the possibility of life on other planets. interestingly, they have also spoken out against intellgent design being taught in schools.


    Anyway, it’s not so much that they might find that life existed, or could have existed upon Mars, as much that if this proves to be the case, it raises the possibility of life elsewhere exponentially.

  • abucs

    With all the huge volcanic eruptions the earth has experienced in its history, from what i’ve read, it may have been possible for small bacteria to live inside huge rocks that are hurtled out of orbit and then eventually crash down to Mars at some stage a short/medium time later.

    If life is found somewhere else in the solar system it would be interesting to see if it has the same origin as earth life.

    If it has a different origin, then it would more than likely not have the same right handed double helix spiralling gene carbon structure and thus give us something completely new to think about which would be very exciting.

    It may give us more insights on what life is and how it can be assembled as well as what is mandatory and what is variable for life.

    All speculation though at this stage.