Amazing Phoenix Images!
NASA’s Phoenix Mars probe successfully landed on Monday, and only two days in to the surface mission and we have already been given some wonderful Martian imagery.
This is the first time a probe has landed so far north, in the Martian polar regions, and the first released image clearly showed features recognisable to geologists. The “cryoturbation polygons” seen in the above image are created by permafrost – something which has be observed here on Earth.
During the descent of the spacecraft, three other orbiting satellites were co-ordinated to observe the event. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s “HiRise” camera tracked the descent and was actually able to image Phoenix with it’s parachute:
The same orbiter has now imaged the spacecraft, it’s heatshield and parachute sitting on the surface: