Thursday, January 21, 2010

January Listening Period Ends with No Word from Phoenix Mars Lander

NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has completed all 30 relay overflights of the Phoenix landing site that were scheduled for Jan. 18 to 21, and heard nothing from the lander. Additional listening campaigns will be conducted in February and March.

Artist concept of Mars Odyssey. Image credit: NASA/JPL

The Phoenix landing site will be receiving more sunshine during those periods, but the lander is still unlikely to be able to reawaken after the harsh Martian winter conditions that it was not designed to withstand. Phoenix operated for two months longer than its planned three-month mission on Mars in 2008.

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