Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Podcast Video
JPL Banner
2001 Mars Odyssey
Home Participate
MULTIMEDIA

Images


read the article 'Erisa Hines'
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
read the article 'Buzz Aldrin'
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
read the article 'Women in Science'
02.12.2016 Women in Science
read the article 'Ravi Vallis'
08.03.2012 Ravi Vallis
read the article 'Dao Valles'
08.03.2012 Dao Valles
read the article 'Lismore Crater'
07.17.2012 Lismore Crater
read the article 'Bunge Crater Dunes'
04.01.2012 Bunge Crater Dunes
read the article 'Shalbatana Vallis'
04.01.2012 Shalbatana Vallis
read the article 'Meridiani Planum'
04.01.2012 Meridiani Planum
read the article 'Canyon Junction'
04.01.2012 Canyon Junction
read the article 'Terra Sirenum'
04.01.2012 Terra Sirenum
read the article 'Echus Chasma'
01.23.2012 Echus Chasma
read the article 'Elysium Mons'
01.10.2012 Elysium Mons
read the article 'Tyrrhena Fossae'
12.26.2011 Tyrrhena Fossae
read the article 'Tempe Terra'
08.27.2010 Tempe Terra
read the article 'Aonia Terra Dunes'
10.26.2009 Aonia Terra Dunes
read the article 'Dark Spots'
07.22.2009 Dark Spots
read the article 'Dark Spots and Fans'
07.22.2009 Dark Spots and Fans
read the article 'Mars Canyon View'
07.22.2009 Mars Canyon View
read the article 'Landslide Run-Out'
07.22.2009 Landslide Run-Out
read the article 'Terra Sirenum'
07.22.2009 Terra Sirenum
Phoenix Lander Amid Disappearing Spring Ice
01.11.2010

Phoenix Lander Amid Disappearing Spring Ice

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, its backshell and its heatshield are visible within this enhanced-color image of the Phoenix landing site taken on Jan. 6, 2010 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

With early spring at the Phoenix landing site comes progressive sublimation of carbon-dioxide frost that has blanketed the lander and surrounding terrain throughout the winter. During the long polar-winter night, atmospheric carbon dioxide freezes onto the surface, building up a layer of frost roughly 30 centimeters (about one foot) thick. In the spring this frost returns to atmosphere gas (sublimates) over the course of several months. This image, part of a seasonal frost monitoring sequence, shows some areas of bare ground are beginning to be exposed. However, extensive frost patches remain in the topographic lows, such as the troughs of the local polygonally patterned surface.

In HiRISE images acquired during the last Martian summer, the solar arrays on the lander were clearly discernable from their distinctive bluish color. For example, see the subimage at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_008855_2485 from June 16, 2008.

The springtime image here has green boxes around the backshell (top), heat shield, and lander (bottom). The solar arrays are not discernable in this new image, probably because the patchy frost effectively camouflages them. Even when the frost has completely sublimated, dust deposited during the winter may obscure them. The parachute attached to the backshell is also not apparent in this image, and we'll see if it reappears in later images. Also gone are the dark halos around the lander, backshell, and heat shield, again due to seasonal frost, dust or both. This and future images will help calibrate expectations for finding the Mars Polar Lander hardware, which encountered Mars in 1999.

This image covers a swath of ground about 300 meters (about 1,000 feet) wide, at 68.2 degrees north latitude, 234.3 degrees east longitude. It is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_016160_2485. Other image products from this observation are available at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/phoenix-spring.php.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


All Images
USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY