Phoenix Lander Descent Photo

It might not seem immediately obvious, but the above picture is off-the-scale awesome.

The two white blobs in the photo represent the Phoenix Mars lander and its parachute as it was descending into the martian atmosphere. But, wait, where did the photo come from? Well, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter just happened to be passing by at 30,000 miles per hour and angled its HiRISE camera over to sneak a few pics. Now that is engineering. It is amazing in its own right that we had a successful landing on Mars after traversing 423 million miles. It is icing on the cake though to have calculations accurate enough to enable this ‘action shot’ of the landing.

May 27, 2008 • Posted in: Miscellany

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