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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old November 11 2008, 03:42 AM   #1
Neroon
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Phoenix is probably no more

Link to story

It's only been five months, but NASA has announced that they have lost contact with the Phoenix Lander and don't expect to get it back. This isn't too surprising, given where it landed: the Martian north polar region.
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Old November 11 2008, 03:57 AM   #2
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

I just saw another story about this a few minutes ago.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/scie...home-from-mars
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Old November 11 2008, 05:11 AM   #3
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Not terribly surprising. It's just that Spirit and Opportunity have spoiled us into believing that it might have lasted a lot longer.
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Old November 11 2008, 05:37 AM   #4
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Damn! And I used to live in Scottsdale, too!

Wait ... what's all this about Mars?
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Old November 11 2008, 06:46 AM   #5
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Damn, now how will we learn about the colder rocks on Mars?
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Old November 11 2008, 08:06 AM   #6
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Tharpdevenport wrote: View Post
Damn, now how will we learn about the colder rocks on Mars?

Sarcasm is the first refuge of the . . . er . . . sarcastic . . .

Watch yerself, son.
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Old November 11 2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Psion wrote: View Post
Damn! And I used to live in Scottsdale, too!

Wait ... what's all this about Mars?
- I was wondering how long it would take before that would crop up.
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Old November 11 2008, 10:40 PM   #8
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
Tharpdevenport wrote: View Post
Damn, now how will we learn about the colder rocks on Mars?

Sarcasm is the first refuge of the . . . er . . . sarcastic . . .

Watch yerself, son.

[Little Miss sunshine]"How much do I owe you for those perls of wisdom?"[/Little Miss sunshine]
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Old November 12 2008, 12:30 AM   #9
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

AdmiralGarak wrote: View Post
Not terribly surprising. It's just that Spirit and Opportunity have spoiled us into believing that it might have lasted a lot longer.
True. But this was inevitable. Phoenix is so far north that it's soon going to be in constant night - if it isn't already. Also, it's so much colder at such a high latitude that the lander's heaters to keep the electronics operational would have to be in operation 24.5/7...which would quickly drain whatever supply there would be.

Next spring (on Mars), the crew will try and get something out of Phoenix but they're not expecting anything.
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Old November 12 2008, 01:24 AM   #10
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Tharpdevenport wrote: View Post
Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
Tharpdevenport wrote: View Post
Damn, now how will we learn about the colder rocks on Mars?

Sarcasm is the first refuge of the . . . er . . . sarcastic . . .

Watch yerself, son.

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[Tank Girl] "TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTEEN CENTS!!"[/Tank Girl]
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Old November 12 2008, 02:06 AM   #11
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

AdmiralGarak wrote: View Post
Not terribly surprising. It's just that Spirit and Opportunity have spoiled us into believing that it might have lasted a lot longer.
I tend to think the same. Phoenix did accomplish its mission objectives, and while there have been some notable failures, by and large the Mars missions have exceeded expectations. Even before them, with the Pioneer, Voyager, Ulysses, Cassini and more... spacecraft meet their goals and then some. NASA takes advantage of their durability and gets even more out of the craft. But with those extreme conditions where Phoenix is, I don't think they expected too much that Phoenix would last all that long beyond its original mission goal.
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Old November 12 2008, 02:26 AM   #12
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
Tharpdevenport wrote: View Post
Zachary Smith wrote: View Post


Sarcasm is the first refuge of the . . . er . . . sarcastic . . .

Watch yerself, son.

[Little Miss sunshine]"How much do I owe you for those perls of wisdom?"[/Little Miss sunshine]
[Tank Girl] "TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTEEN CENTS!!"[/Tank Girl]
[South Park]"Two-fi'ty"[/South Park]


But on the serious side, what were they hoping to accomplish here? And after loosing contact with a multi-million dollar piece of equipment, will heads roll?
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Old November 12 2008, 02:37 AM   #13
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

It was originally designated for soil studies in that north polar region, comparable to Alaska on Earth. That included searching for water ice beneath the surface, which as you know was achieved. It all sounds pretty successful, even with such a price tag.
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Last edited by Neroon; November 12 2008 at 03:39 AM.
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Old November 12 2008, 03:15 AM   #14
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

But what would that yield that couldn't be done testing soil here? And why, aside from curiosity, do we need to know if the planet has water? One day, maybe not as far off as we think, we'll have simpler and easier means of space traveling, and we can go there and get it done faster than putting millions & millions of dollars into it right now that we need in other areas.
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Old November 12 2008, 03:38 AM   #15
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Re: Phoenix is probably no more

Precisdely how are you going to get that soil sample back here, without doubling the cost of the mission? We'll have to agree to disagree on this war without end over "money we need now here" vs "money spent in the pursuit of science".
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