Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Finds Old Mars Landers

This image, taken Jan. 26, 2012, shows NASA's no-longer-active Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft after its second Martian arctic winter. Source NASA

 

MRO HiRISE has taken 21,000 images in its life, recent images show older landers.

(NASA) The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently captured images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment – HiRISE instrument, taken on Jan. 26, 2012. This picture NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander  after that spacecraft’s second Martian arctic winter. Phoenix exceeded its planned mission life in 2008, ending its work as solar energy waned during approach of its first Mars winter.

Mars Spirt Lander

Near the lower left corner of this view is the three-petal lander platform that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit drove off in January 2004. The lander is still bright, but with a reddish color, probably due to accumulation of Martian dust. Image credit: NASA/JPL

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter also recorded a pictures on Jan. 29, 2012, that includes the first color image from orbit showing the three-petal lander of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit mission. Spirit drove off that lander platform in January 2004 and spent most of its six-year working life in a range of hills about two miles to the east.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been examining Mars with six science instruments since 2006. Now in an extended mission, the orbiter continues to provide insights into the planet’s ancient environments and how processes such as wind, meteorite impacts and seasonal frosts are continuing to affect the Martian surface today. This mission has returned more data about Mars than all other orbital and surface missions combined.

 

 

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Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.