Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NASA Orbiter Listening for Phoenix Lander Hears Nothing

NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has completed 11 overflights, listening for the Phoenix Mars Lander on Jan. 19 and 20, without hearing anything from the lander. Nineteen more listening overflights are planned this week, and additional attempts in February and March.

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

The attempts are being made because of the unlikely scenario that Phoenix has survived Martian arctic winter conditions the spacecraft was never designed to withstand.

Phoenix landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and operated successfully about two months longer than its planned three-month mission near the Martian north polar region.

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