Please Share

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Phoenix Lander Goes Silent, Mission Ends

Having not heard a peep out of the Phoenix Lander since November 2nd, NASA has determined that the resilient little rover has finally ceased operating and they are pulling the plug on the mission.

"We are actually ceasing operations, declaring an end to operations at this point," said Barry Goldstein Phoenix mission project manager. "However, since we've been surprised by the robustness of this vehicle, we're going to keep listening. As the orbiters fly overhead every two hours, we'll constantly turn on the radio and try to hail Phoenix to see if it is alive."

"This is an Irish wake rather than a funeral," said Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars exploration programme.

"We should celebrate what Phoenix and the Phoenix team has done and where it is going to take us in the future. [There were] a lot of lessons learned in this mission for us that will feed forward to future missions. We learned a lot about handling of soils, soil consistency, and how difficult it can be."

It has been fun following the story and receiving the twitter tweets from the Phoenix team! Perhaps we'll see the day when Phoenix rises again to hails from the passing orbiters?

BBC Story here.