Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phoenix Mars Lander's Arrival



Well people they pulled it off, a flawlessly performed landing on the Martian surface at 7:53 pm EDT Sunday May 25th. by the Phoenix Mars Lander. The image above was taken by the onboard telescope from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, it is the lander parachuting to the surface. This was the first successful use of parachutes and thrusters, or what they call a power landing since the Viking missions in 1976.





The Phoenix lander (above image taken by the MRO) has onboard scientific instruments to determine whether ice and water on top of or just below the surface could have ever supported life. NASA'S Mars exploration program has 4 main goals.



1: Determine whether life ever arose on Mars.

2: Characterize the climate of Mars.

3: Characterize the geology of Mars.

4: Prepare for Human exploration.


The Phoenix lander has two main objectives.


1: Study the history of water in the Martian arctic.

2: Search for evidence of a habitable zone and assess the biological potential of the ice-soil boundary.




I watched NASA TV for most of Sunday, very exciting, my pulse was racing those 7 minutes during descent and landing. Why am I so excited, and why should you care? Baby steps my friends, that's what space exploration is all about, we ain't gonna be warping to some far off galaxy anytime soon, but every little bit of progress helps us, so that one day we can reach for the stars.


I don't just see a lander on Mars gathering ice water, I see a successful completion of a step needed to get us on our way to the outer reaches of the galaxy, nay the universe. Earth is a great place and all, but we only have a limited time before our life supply burns out. Estimates range anywhere from half to a few billion years before our Sun will no longer be able to support us, we have to do what we can to propagate our species, or we can just give up and become extinct.

God gave us all the tools we need to complete this objective; curiosity, intelligence, why else did God create the cosmos?, has to be a reason, so many unanswered questions, so little time. I think we are in exciting times, sure I wish I had been born about 300 years from now, I need more technology, like a Holodeck or Replicator, but with our ever expanding space exploration programs and what I think is the most exciting thing to happen in science in a long time; the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, we are setting ourselves up for some of the greatest discoveries of humankind.

I'll leave you now with an animated Moonrise taken a few days ago.




43 comments:

Drowsey Monkey said...

You and I are on the same wave length with posts today, of course yours is much more detailed than mine! :) It is exciting as you say ... can't wait for more images and information from the lander.

Franx said...

Wow Bob I love your blog..I change my blog template from 3 column to 2 column but you change from 2 to 3 column wow..As usual great photo and information blog

self taught artist said...

i agree with what you say bob j
i wish you could live long enough to go up there....maybe you will someday, who knows.
it is exciting to see those pictures, so very very cool and PROOF that we can't possibly be the only living things out there even if those things look and act completely different.

Swubird said...

Bob: Great post. I am so anxious to hear the results of the experiments I can't stand it. I agree with everything you wrote, but I want to see the water now! Intuitively, I know there has to be water, but I want to see the proof. If there was water billions of years ago, and it froze below the surface, it will still be there. Life is a whole different issue.

Thanks for keeping all of us posted.

Have a nice day.

Marvin the Martian said...

Excellent post! I was impressed with that orbital shot of the lander descending on the parachute - that was a first!

Yes, humans have to keep trying to go into space, or else they'll never get off this little planet, and they will die with it. I'm looking forward to a return to the Moon - there's a lot to indicate that it's artificial, and that will never be proven or disproven unless people go back. But Mars is fine too. And the asteroid belt. Always wanted to be an asteroid miner.

R2K said...

: )

Rose said...

Great post! I was reading on Drowsy blog too about the weather report. Looking forward to more images.

Ruth said...

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't like how we've used up our planet, and the thought of trekking to others and abusing them makes me shudder! I know that's not what you want to do, and it is very exciting to learn more about other worlds and their life environments. I hope those who explore will take good care of the universe. You go!

Bob Johnson said...

You have some great posts there drowsey, it will be exciting the next few days, see what the arm scraps up.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Franx, glad you like the pics and info.:greenalien: \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Paula, we are not alone, there is other life out there, hopefully we will find proof of that soon.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, baby steps, first we follow the water, and then life, it looks like ice of some sort on the surface of the first pics sent back, exciting times.
:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks marvin the martian, the latest image is even more cool, it shows the parachuting lander and a huge crater just off to the side, very cool, taken again by the MRO.

lol maybe one day if you try really hard you will become that asteroid miner, never give up never surrender.,:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks r2k. :greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Rose, more pics are coming in and they look great, just waiting for the arm to collect some Martian samples.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Hey I hear you Ruth, hopefully we will learn from our mistakes and not screw up the next world we inhabit, we can only hope, and if we get our act together there is still time to correct the wrongs we have done to our world now.

:greenalien:

Sherer said...

Great writing Bob! Just imagine telling someone 80 years ago that we were planning a man-ed ship to mars - they would think you to be crazy! I can't wait for us to start exploring extra-solar planets! It might just happen soon than we think. Crank up the worm holes lets go exploring! \m/

kml said...

Bob - my husband has been following each step it takes! I love your moonrise - so beautiful!

Peter said...

Hi Bob, how's your pulse and blood pressure going. I can't blame you for getting excited and I can't believe the images, they're amazing. Great team work again!

The first image reminds me of the grainy images that I saw on TV when just a lad, watching the first moon landing.

Great to see the Aussie deep space communication complex (CDSCC) at Tidbinbilla, a NASA facility, playing its part by receiving then relaying the first images sent back by the lander. I just had to get that one it, sorry!

I know you own a piece of real estate on the moon, do you have enough for a slice of mars?

Take Care and thank you,
Peter

Roger said...

I thought about ya Bob when they were talking about the landing on the news, cool beans man!

Will said...

Interesting, Bob. I think the human species will need an escape place long before our sun burns out. I wonder though if we will ever be able to come up with the technology to safely transport and house large numbers of us to the outer reaches?

Bob Johnson said...

Lol sherer, you are so right, who would have thunk it, I think we are closer then we think as well, exciting times.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, that Moonrise was very interesting to watch live, it lit up the sky, almost like a Sunrise, cool your husband is keeping up todate on things.
:greenalien: \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, hey Peter you know the place I bought the Moon land from sells Mars land as well, better buy some before real estate prices go crazy.


Cool you watched the Moon landing, as did I, back then it was your Parkes that made history now it's your CDSCC helping make history , well done.:greenalien: \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Roger, it was a pretty exciting day here.:greenalien:\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will, repopulating another planet is a whole other challenge, first and foremost we have to break the light barrier, some futurists believe that is millions of years away, I believe the LHC at Cern will be a baby step in this direction.:greenalien:\m/

Moonshadow said...

It is exciting, isn't it? I do hope they find something to cause people to get really excited about finding more. Get people fired up about the Space program again.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey moonshadow, you are right, what it boils down to is getting people excited in space travel, after all we are going to need lots and lots of money to complete the goals required to travel into space, therefore you need government backing and the peoples votes to support the government supporting the space program.

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Oswegan said...

Great info and images Bob. I knew we could count on you to tell us the deal.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, thanks mombu.com, much appreciated! \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks oswegan, glad to be of service. \m/\m/

shirley said...

It's really interesting! I'm so curious to see what they will find!

Rick said...

Have you seen the oblique angle shot of Phoenix entering the atmosphere over Heimdall shot by the HiRES? Check it outhere!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Shirley, me too, next week they will start gathering samples.

\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Rick , it is very cool, one of my fav shots so far. \m/

The Supplicant said...

Hi Bob

Funny how your little blog impacts the lives of many individuals...including mine. When I saw the newscast of the landing my first thought was "Man, Bob must be sooo excited." :-)

Take care my friend. Have a great weekend!

~JD

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks JD, I still am pretty excited.:D :-D \m/

Lynda Lehmann said...

I'm sure you heard the news today, Bob, about the possibility of ice right under the lander!? Or maybe that white stuff is some kind of mineral salts?

Interesting post, as always, and your rising moon GIF is lovely!

I think we'll be needing to colonize Mars long before the Sun burns out, the way things are going on planet Earth!

kml said...

Wow Bob- I thought that was a sunrise when I first saw it - excellent!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Lynda and thanks, it will be interesting to see if it is really water or salt.:D :-D

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, I know, I have another one like that one that is very cool, that is exactly what I thought, you and I seem to have very similar thoughts on photography.\m/

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