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The Phoenix Has Landed

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the zomg-we-found-ponys dept.

Mars 369

Iddo Genuth writes "Precisely at 7:53PM EST, the "Phoenix Mars Lander" touched-down on the desert-like surface of Mars. Since its launch on August 4th, 2007, the spacecraft has covered more than 680,752,512 kilometers, traveling at average speeds of around 120,000 km/hr. Upon arriving at its destination, the Phoenix will begin its exploration of our intriguing neighbor planet, in a mission to help astronomers resolve at least some of the many questions regarding Mars. The key question remains: can the Red Planet support some form of life?" Hella grats to our nerd brethren — you looked great on the Science channel. Yes I'm watching this live. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Update: 05/26 03:0 GMT by KD : zof sends a link to the first pictures from Phoenix.

cancel ×

369 comments

live (5, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539645)

Can't imagine it's very live what with the lightspeed delay..

Re:live (5, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539677)

Well, if you are going to be pedantic nothing is really live because relativity precludes true simultaneity. I think we all understand what he means.

All in all, it does my heart well to see such mainstream coverage of the event. My parents, who are sort of aloof to anything scientific, are even paying attention to it on the 24 hour news. It's these sort of things turning into moments that reach across all of society that inspire new generations of kids to become scientists.

Re:live (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540037)

It's these sort of things turning into moments that reach across all of society that inspire new generations of kids to become scientists.

So they can shit bricks for 7 minutes as their billion-dollar experiment and paycheck hang in the balance? It's one thing to watch on CNN from the comfort of your big fluffy chair, but remember these people had their asses on the line. People lost their jobs when the Polar Lander crashed in the 90's.
       

Re:live (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540195)

I think you meant "the middle-class" instead of "all of society". I doubt every level of society is paying attention to this. I'm not being a dick, but these sorts of things don't mean the same to everyone.

Lame first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539679)

Not "Insightful" or "Interesting".

Re:live (0, Redundant)

rninne (1289134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539979)

"Hey! Aren't you Neil Armstrong? I just saw you on the moon." "uhhh... The tape delay and err solar winds..." Any way enough Family guy, In other news http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/23/1723208 [slashdot.org]

Re:live (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540123)

My time is just as good as anyone else's. Einstein says so.

Re:live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540141)

Relatively live.

Doesn't even have to be live life... (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539647)

Personally, I think it would be damned cool if they found an indisputable fossil. It would force a whole lot of philosophical re-thinking, and probably give a huge-assed push towards getting humans into space (well, those who don't suddenly get scared silly and decide to crawl into a cave, hoping the aliens pass us by or somesuch).

But then... what if they do find evidence of life? I mean large, complex forms of life, not some fossilized bacteria that everyone will debate and bitch about. That's what I'm hoping they dig up.

/P

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539661)

What are the chances of puttering around for a few hundred meters on earth and randomly finding a human skeleton?..

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539713)

In my neighborhood? Pretty good.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539739)

A human skeleton? Not very high. But any skeleton? In areas that used to be underwater, you often find fossilized imprints of shellfish, etc, every few inches.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (3, Interesting)

geckofiend (314803) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540203)

I used to find all kinds of fossilized sea life as a kid. It always kid of awed me to think that Ohio was once under water.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540239)

It'd only take like 4.5 inches of said water.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539757)

What are the chances of puttering around on earth for a few hundred meters and finding a fossil? Its pretty good. All they have to do is find a fossil of something that once roamed around on the surface of mars or in the water that is now frozen. And I think the poster by meaning a large complex form of life is meaning something more advanced then bacteria.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (2, Funny)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539787)

And one of them has something identifying him as "John Carter".

lander, not rover (4, Informative)

Garganus (890454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539847)

I understand your point. Just so we're all clear, though; Phoenix sits on legs, not wheels, so there will be no 'puttering around' the pole.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (2, Funny)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539877)

What are the chances of puttering around for a few hundred meters on earth and randomly finding a human skeleton?..
Pretty good if you touch down at a well chosen landing site. You just need to find the Martian equivalent of the Manson ranch, or an empty lot with disturbed soil near the Martian Mafia. Given the planet's drying history, there would have been a lot of drifters, and similarly criminals to prey upon them.

Some people say I've been reading to much Heinlein lately...

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539883)

We found a horse skeleton in my back yard. Apparently, it was buried there when this neighborhood was still farm country.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Interesting)

Jeff Fohl (597433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539949)

What are the chances of puttering around for a few hundred meters on earth and randomly finding a human skeleton?..
I was surprised when I found that Phoenix has no mobility. But then, I have thought about it for all of 5 minutes, while the NASA engineers have thought about it for 5 years, so there must have been a good reason to leave that feature out.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (4, Informative)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539981)

The short answer, to keep inside the weight budget. When you add wheels, you need to compromise on the science instruments.

So Phoenix packs much better science gear than the rovers, and to compensate they just try to drop it somewhere uniform and with a decent chance of finding what you are looking for regardless of the specific drop point.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540197)

What are the chances of puttering around for a few hundred meters on earth and randomly finding a human skeleton?..

I was surprised when I found that Phoenix has no mobility. But then, I have thought about it for all of 5 minutes, while the NASA engineers have thought about it for 5 years, so there must have been a good reason to leave that feature out.

Two reasons: The first is weight - mobility systems cost a great of it, and every gram alloted to them is a gram that can't be spent on science. Which also means that had it wheels, Phoenix would be limited to same modest science package the rovers have. The second is mission life time - unlike the rovers, the odds of Phoenix dying once winter comes are near unity. Which means that a notional wheeled Phoenix with it's much more modest science package won't cover much ground before freezing to death.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539975)

Just check inside Dick Cheney's man-sized safe when CNN reports him to be in an "undisclosed location." Or better yet, turn on CSPAN sometime.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539987)

Wikipedia has an estimate of the total number of people that has ever lived [wikipedia.org] at 45 billion to 125 billion people.

It also provides a map of population density in the world. Another article provides information on the surface area of the Earth. [wikipedia.org]

Approximately 29.2% of the surface is dry land. 13.31% of this land is arable, with only 4.71% supporting permanent crops.

148,940,000 km is dry land. (1.940 x 10^14 mÂ)

Assuming a buried person takes up 1 square metre.

Assume that there have been 120 billion skeletons buried all over the place (125 minus 5 billion still living).

Then you have 1.20 x 10^11 / (1.940 x 10^14 mÂ)

which gives 1.20 / 1.940 x 10^-3

or 0.000618556

6.18556 x 10^-3

So, you have a 1/1616 chance of finding a skeleton. Your odds will be affected by the cultural traditions of the local population, the local geology (limestone will dissolve bone). The natives might think twice about burying tribe members on farm land.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540245)

or finding a sign for a city In the USA.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539701)

I'm personally hoping they find something much more sinister! Cthulhu fhtagn! (see sig for a clue)

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (3, Funny)

badmanone (806884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539715)

But then... what if they do find evidence of life? I mean large, complex forms of life, not some fossilized bacteria that everyone will debate and bitch about. That's what I'm hoping they dig up.

Uh, only then we would be forced to worship that life's crystal skeletons...

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539731)

That's what I'm hoping they dig up.

I'm hoping it finds Jimmy Hoffa. Or maybe the second gunman.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540213)

Or they turn on micro and we hear here Jailhouse Rock.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540223)

I'd be satisfied with just one of my socks the dryer ate.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (0)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539749)

... what if they do find evidence of life? I mean large, complex forms of life...
Someone will make the obligatory overlord post, of course. Only this time it might be real.

Re:Doesn't even have to be live life... (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540191)

What kind of philosophical rethinking? that life ever could only exist in Earth? Thats looks more religion than philosophy.

Or science, if there is an agreement that Mars could had never sustained complex/big lifeforms.

Or, as someone else suggested, math, because we beat badly the odds of finding something life related doing a relatively very short trip in something that looks more like a desert than a jungle (well, in this case we will go back to religion very soon).

anal sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539653)

it won't do anything but your dick stink.

FACT!

"Precisely?" (1, Offtopic)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539663)

A completely minor comment, but I'm struck by that strange and vaguely illiterate use of "precisely." I mean, could the spacecraft not touch down at some "precise" instant? Isn't it the nature of momentary events like touchdown to, well, happen in one precise moment?

I guess if it exploded and came down in pieces, it might not touch down at one instant, so maybe the fact that it touched down at precisely 7.53, instead of at roughly 7.53 (with some parts coming in early at 7.50 and a few stragglers not making it down until past 8) is good news.

Sorry, carry on.

Re:"Precisely?" (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539735)

I think he meant that the value ("7:53PM EST") given as a reference to the Earth time is precisely (that is, with an implied, practical amount of measurement inaccuracy, but a small and acceptable one even by the scientific standards) in accordance with the actual, momentary act of the lander touching down.

If picking nits, do it properly. ;)

Re:"Precisely?" (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539805)

Oh, and, well - excuse me for replying to my own posts, but I just can't resist - if you really want to be precise, note that the touchdown was not by any means perfectly momentary. It could have taken even a few seconds, maybe the lander touched the ground, then lifted a few centimeters, then finally rested still on the surface.

You know, even pressing a microswitch like the one in your mouse is not a momentary action from the microcontroller's point of view - it needs an explicit "debouncing" theshold of a few tens of miliseconds because the button really bounces a bit when pressed - by hundredths of a milimeter but still enough to generate a few clicks at once if not debounced.

OK, OK, I promise, I'll not be picking nits anymore today...

Re:"Precisely?" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539935)

And now you've supported his point that precisely is not appropriate.

Re:"Precisely?" (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540159)

I think he meant that the value ("7:53PM EST") given as a reference to the Earth time is precisely (that is, with an implied, practical amount of measurement inaccuracy, but a small and acceptable one even by the scientific standards)
Specifically, one hour.

Or maybe he forgot to set his clocks forward.

Re:"Precisely?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539759)

I agree, it's about as redundant as the "Personally" in an above comment.

Re:"Precisely?" (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539803)

A completely minor comment, but I'm struck by that strange and vaguely illiterate use of "precisely." I mean, could the spacecraft not touch down at some "precise" instant? Isn't it the nature of momentary events like touchdown to, well, happen in one precise moment?
Well, both prior Mars missions using airbags did not touch down at a precise moment, having bounced, tumbled, and rolled for a significant period of time. So maybe this is a a deep reference to the use of rockets+legs for landing, and the fact that they really stuck the landing.

Then again maybe not, but if you're going to read too much into TFS, the best I can do is return the favor. Have a nice day :)

Can't wait to see what happens next. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539717)

Mars lander destroyed be meteorite...

That would suck

Re:Can't wait to see what happens next. (5, Funny)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539791)

Ground stations no longer receiving signals because Earth was destroyed by a meteorite

That would really suck

Re:Can't wait to see what happens next. (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539991)

Hmm, wouldn't that technically be a meteor? Once it hit actual ground, it would become a meteorite, but in the split second between hitting the lander and hitting the ground, it would still be a meteor. So I believe the proper term would be to say 'the lander had been hit by a meteor'

Pedantic, I know, but the difference between meteor and meteorite is just one of those things...

Arizona v Arizona State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539767)

Interesting the diffence in the types of images each school tries to capture
Arizona - Images of Mars [nasa.gov]
Arizona State - Images [dailynorthwestern.com] of Girls [gone-hollywood.com]

Enormous congratulations to them all (2, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539779)

To have a successful landing of this sort on Mars is brilliant, and continues to build hope that there might be a manned mission there in my lifetime, I can only hope.

Ever since I read the Mars Trilogy (red, green, blue) I have really hoped that it could come true in some way like those books show. (not all the bad obviously)... I would love to see it start, I really would.

Re:Enormous congratulations to them all (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539857)

To have a successful landing of this sort on Mars is brilliant, and continues to build hope that there might be a manned mission there in my lifetime, I can only hope.
Other than the good feeling of putting a human on Mars what is the point? I'd rather see technology on Earth progress to the point where there insn't a reason to not send a person to Mars.
Space races are all fine and dandy for countries to show off, but don't confuse such events with real scientific advancement.

Re:Enormous congratulations to them all (2, Interesting)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539989)

There actually is a lot of scientific advancement, in the form of all the technology that needs to be invented, designed and perfected. If you hava some spare time and do a bit of research, you'll realise that a lot of supposedly everyday items and technologies we use now are possible due to the space races during the Cold War. For example, the materials used for space suits and heat shields were a starting point for some of the today's textiles used for clothing and construction materials for industrial machinery and even some household devices.

Re:Enormous congratulations to them all (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540253)

I agree space exploration leads to a lot of scientific advancement, but many of the "big" problems need to be solved whether you're putting an unmanned lander on the moon or a person.
How much real science gets done on a manned mission than an unmanned one.

Re:Enormous congratulations to them all (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540007)

Define what a "real" scientific advancement would be, please.

Re:Enormous congratulations to them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540089)

"Other than the good feeling of putting a human on Mars what is the point?"

Exploration .... plain and simple. Exploration is part of being human. And the best way to advance technology regarding space travel is to .... travel in space. Do you think we just sat in one spot working on the perfect ship before we decided to actually set out across the ocean? No, the actual experience of traveling across the ocean was crucial to the advancement of the technology for obvious reasons.

Congratulations... (4, Insightful)

JavaBasedOS (1217930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539793)

... to those scientists that worked hard and put both heart and soul for at least a decade on Phoenix. I can't wait to see what images and data we get from Phoenix.

It's going to be an eventful summer here on Earth, that's for sure.

The Phoenix Has Landed (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539809)

Oh yeah... We all heard that [ufos-aliens.co.uk] before.

What gets me is... (5, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539819)

all the work that went into the mission so far that made this look easy. It wasn't. But they did a helluva job on the prep work to make it look like business as usual.

Great job, JPL & Arizona!

Junkyboy55 (4, Insightful)

Junkyboy55 (1183037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539821)

Knowing some of the engineers that work on and manage these programs I am very happy with landing and everything it represents. More so I am looking forward to other robots, not the rover type but different task oriented machines like Robonaut [nasa.gov] and Chariot [nasa.gov] to make it off of Earth!

Amazing how short sighted ppl are (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539859)

Years ago, we put vikings up on mars. The more amazing in that they were nuke powered. Now, we fight about it all the time. Even phoenix would be better served had it been nuke powered. But now, about half of the ppl do not want human systems going, another group fights sending nuke power up, and another wants NASA dead altogether. Back in the 60's and 70's, we all came together on saying that ALL of this was important; Long term robotic probes AND human missions AND the environment (as we understood it). It was not one vs. the other.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that the reason for human missions to the moon was because of uranium/plutonium. Yet, ppl were upset about what a waste human missions were without realizing that we could fire up new MUCH LARGER missions to mars and elsewhere and let them use plutonium. I never bought off on W's idea that the moon would be a good launch pad based on the hydrogen that is there. But if we have LOADS of plutonium, that is a different matter. We can easily rail launch missions combined with large amount of energy via plutonium without worrying about it being spread all over the earth's atmosphere. Hopefully, at some point, Americans realize that one idea does not need to preclude another. For instance, human missions do not need to prevent robotics from going (or vs. versa).

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540023)

Back in the 60's and 70's, we all came together on saying that ALL of this was important

No we weren't [youtube.com] .
     

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540117)

Years ago, we put vikings up on mars
Are the Vikings always first to get places?

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (1)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540135)

Actually, we don't have that much plutonium on hand for NASA's use.
http://www.space.com/news/080306-nasa-plutonium-shortage-fin.html [space.com]

EXACTLY. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540189)

And that is why the moon is of UTMOST interest to us. It turns out that it has URANIUM. Uranium that can be bred into plutonium. That plutonium can be used on the moon, for long distance mission travel, for fast travel mission, for staying on mars, etc.

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540243)

People thought space exploration was important in the 60s and 70s because if the US didn't get there, the USSR would. Never before has a beep made the US collectively shit its pants before Sputnik. It had nothing to do with furthering humanity, but a lot to do with national pride and being scared of the reds.

People don't want nuclear-powered rockets blasting off into space as NASA has a rather chequered history when it comes to guaranteeing they don't blow up.

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540247)

If we can effectively achieve the goals of the mission without using a nuclear reactor, we're almost certainly better off.

Although there are certainly applications for nuclear power on interplanetary spacecraft, I don't think that it would have been appropriate for a small stationary scientific probe.

Once the probe has done its stuff, and examined the surface around its landing site, there's not a whole lot much more it can do. Mission accomplished.

And even as much as fears regarding nuclear power may be overstated, Plutonium is, and will always be pretty scary stuff. We don't want to contaminate our atmosphere, oceans, and land, and also don't want to do the same to the surface of Mars.

Public perception also plays a role. Can you imagine if Columbia had been carrying a substantial amount of fissible material? The entire state of Texas would have been launched into a state of mass-hysteria, even if the containment vessel remained intact. NASA would be dismantled within a week.

Although Spirit and Opportunity are somewhat limited by their power source, they have indeed been overwhelmingly successful missions.

Launch failures are increasingly rare, though not quite reliable enough yet that we shouldn't err on the side of caution. Radioactive materials have been released into the atmosphere before as a result of launch failures, and although it's not the end of the world, it's also something we should avoid if we can.

It's all about managing risk. Nuclear power is risky, and thus NASA avoid it unless it's necessary for the mission.

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540263)

Hello, NASA engineer here. Look up the Mars Science Lander (MSL) mission being built at JPL (link below). Nuke powered and huge. Upgrade from the Vikings mission since it has WHEELS. Will launch in September 2009.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Re:Amazing how short sighted ppl are (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540267)

Years ago, we put vikings up on mars. The more amazing in that they were nuke powered. Now, we fight about it all the time.

So sayeth the urban legends. In reality, opposition toward nuclear powered space probes has decayed sharply over time and has now essentially vanished. For the nuclear powered Mars Science Laboratory, opposition to it's nuclear packages has been all but absent. The cynic in me wonders sometimes if that's because the Usual Suspect demographic has so much else on it's trust funded platter right now.
 
In reality usage of radioisotope generators has declined primarily because they are extremely expensive, and secondarily because we have a vastly reduced capability to manufacture them. For years NASA piggybacked on DOE production for the DOD. With the demand for them dropping after the end of the Cold War, the capability to manufacture them has similarly declined.

first photos at 9:30pm EST ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539861)

I think I saw somewhere there first photos will arrive at 9:30pm EST?

I'm watching a smooth feed on:
http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163

The Phoenix'd better watch out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539865)

I give it 30 seconds 'til a Decepticon pwns it.

Re-broadcast (1)

DaftShadow (548731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539873)

I, and many others, missed the live stream. If someone could hook up the rest of us with the landing video footage, that would be awesome!

- DaftShadow

Too far south (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539895)

The water is likely a wee bit further north. Congratulations on a successful landing though.

Re:Too far south (2, Informative)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539923)

Ice on the surface is further north, but they expect the top meter of soil to be about 80% ice at the landing site.

Late Breaking News (5, Funny)

freefrag (728150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539905)

Amidst of rumors of yet another invasion by the heinous creatures of the blue planet, the most Illustrious Council of Elders confirmed that another mechanical war machine recently landed successfully on the homeworld. K'breel, speaker for the Council, stressed that plans for defense were well underway:

Gentle Citizens, today my gelsacs frumple in anticipation of the successful counterattack on the two-eyed monsters of the blue planet. Our sources indicate that while their latest mechanical terror has an experimental weapon to bore into our colonies, it has landed far from our podhomes and will soon be destroyed by this zunok's unusually powerful dust storms. Victory against our enemies is near! Our scientists report that our climate disruptor probes are currently in full operation and will make the blue planet uninhabitable within the next 5 zon.
When dissenters questioned whether the warming of our enemy's planet was due to his own self-destructive habits or our weaponry, K'Breel ordered their gelsacs pierced on the spot.

Re:Late Breaking News (5, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539999)

When dissenters questioned whether the warming of our enemy's planet was due to his own self-destructive habits or our weaponry, K'Breel ordered their gelsacs pierced on the spot.

Shit! Space is still no escape from stupid leaders.
   

Correction (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539947)

EDT, not EST. :)

Yes, I'm watching this live... (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539951)

And yes, you are a douche.

Next story on Slashdot (5, Funny)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539995)

Phoenix Mars Lander Touched Down 2 Hours ago

And then the next story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540131)

Phoenix Mars Lander Touched Down 2 Hours ago

(It's a Dupe)

did anyone else notice the logo? (3, Interesting)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540003)

was I the only one who saw the phoenix project logo [phoenixprojectma.org] and thought it looked remarkably similar the Firefox logo? Firefox was originally called phoenix was it not? Coincidence? I think not!

Re:did anyone else notice the logo? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540041)

Coincidence? I think not!
I dunno, but I think the idea of Phoenix for a mars lander was kind of.. well.. maybe they were expecting it to land in a pile of ashes or something, but suddenly start functioning again just when everybody was about to switch the computers off and go home.

Re:did anyone else notice the logo? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540133)

phoenixprojectma.org is a site dealing with MA schools, not NASA's phoenix lander.

(too lazy to log in)

Re:did anyone else notice the logo? (4, Informative)

seasleepy (651293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540255)

But that is the logo for the lander [arizona.edu] though...

Re:did anyone else notice the logo? (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540211)

It used to be called Firebird (at about version 0.7). I wish they had kept that name. Back then, they didn't have a logo, so I used a picture of the car launching on a quarter mile run for my icon. I wish they had kept that name.

In English... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540043)

Units.

Phoenix went exactly 423,000,000 miles at the leisurely pace of 20.7 miles a second.

Now if we had done something really COOL, like drive there in a Jeep Commander, we would have used 22,263,157 gallons of gas and been MUCH better prepared for Mars.

Someone will bitch about fuel cost. OK, look at this: at $4/gallon it would cost $108,972,294 -- that's $411,027,706 cheaper than this $520M "good deal". Jeep is currently offering a $2.99 gas lock-in which would bring the total savings to $453,433,160. I mean WOW, they could spend the rest on parties and just tell us it's really, really complicated.

Now ask if the Phoenix has 4 wheel drive. Or A/C. Or the peace of mind knowing it's fully covered under a manufacturer's warranty.

Tough to beat if you ask me..

NASA TV has pictures from Mars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540061)

Everyone seems to be happy!

Re:NASA TV has pictures from Mars... (1)

zapwow (939754) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540145)

You can see a few of the first photos here [flickr.com] ! (Not a trap)

Macs (0, Offtopic)

Blice (1208832) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540087)

Did anyone else notice that they were using a Mac to view the images on? Also looked like they had already uploaded all of the images onto a gallery. Someone sharpen that screenshot and get a link :(

"Hella grats" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540105)

"Hella grats?" This is even worse than digg....jesus

Phoenix? (1)

BradMajors (995624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540119)

Phoenix is not a very optimistic name for a space craft.

Re:Phoenix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540127)

Hey, the first human-built warp ship was named "Phoenix" ...

Why? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540161)

It is a mythical bird that arises from the dead every so often. It was already dead and buried once. After being re-designed on a few items and re-tasked, it has new life. Who knows, maybe in about 1.5 years when it is buried under ice, it MIGHT just survive it and come back. It actually has a chance of that (though quite slim).

Great name (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540269)

Consider the first one of that design, is the one that did not live....

Phoenix has risen from the ashes of the first models mistakes, triumphant and ready to work.

Pictures Already (2, Informative)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540177)

Within minutes of the first downlink, pictures were available on the net.

one [arizona.edu]
two [arizona.edu]
three [arizona.edu]

That's fantastic.

Substandard Time (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540209)

Precisely at 7:53PM EST
Precisely wrong. Doesn't anyone know what "EST" stands for? First person to answer correctly gets to leave class early.

the lights are coming up all over now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540235)

see you on the other side of it? let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Precisely wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540237)

Phoenix landed at 6:38pm EST and confirmation was received at 6:53pm EST. How someone can be off by 75 minutes and call it 'precisely' is beyond me.

Credibility of TFOT site?... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540251)

I followed the link to the TFOT site given by the OP. On that page was a link to "more up to date information" on the status of the lander. Check out: http://www.tfot.info/news/1189/the-phoenix-has-landed.html [tfot.info] Curiously, 2/3 down the page is an image of the lander which is titled: "NASA's Phoenix spacecraft on Mars - actual image (Credit: NASA)"

I found this particularly interesting since I have a second window open, and I'm watching the -relativistically speaking - "live" coverage from JPL on NASATV. In this coverage, they have JUST begun to get images of the solar panels a few minutes ago... And from what I can tell, none of them look like the "third person" photo on the TFOT site. Tried to post a comment to this effect on TFOT, but couldn't. ...I'm not sure how they can call that an actual image...
*sigh* this all must have been faked just like the lunar landings....

Sounds like a waste of effort.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540261)

All those complex calculations sound like a waste of effort. Just set the ballistic trajectory to the desired spot then let the Phoenix rise from the ashes of the fiery explosion of impact.

NASA web site (3, Interesting)

KC1P (907742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540283)

I wish NASA wouldn't get so distracted during the "fun" part of these missions. It seems like a regular pattern, they set up frankly a pretty awesome web site, put up a countdown timer, plaster it with nice background articles and then update it very regularly ... until something happens. Then it's frozen in time for an hour or two (this time all they could come up with was "we got a signal") while they're all slapping each other five and pouring champagne into their consoles. The $420 million (or whatever it was) came out of our pockets, all I ask is that they get *one* intern to stay sober at the golden moment and clue in those of us who don't get the Science Channel.

Anyway it's great to see they pulled it off. It's weird how so many space shots worked on the first try and then we totally blew the next half-dozen tries. I blame the Martian strategic defense system.

Dupe. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540295)

Don't we have a story on this 2 hours ago?

This is a record for the quickest dupe ever on Slashdot.
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