Phoenix Is Coming To Town

Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2008

View of Phoenix from Mars (link)

The entire Entry, Descent and Landing sequence takes just about 7 minutes.
Some key times tomorrow, with all times PDT (CET=PDT+9hrs):

3 p.m. (12 a.m) : Begin non-commentary live television feed from JPL

3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m) : Begin commentated live television feed from JPL

4:40 p.m. (1:40 a.m.) : Spacecraft turns to attitude for atmospheric entry

4:46:33 p.m. (1:46:33 a.m.) : Spacecraft enters atmosphere

4:47 through 4:49 p.m. : Likely blackout period

4:50:15 p.m. (1:50:15 a.m.) : Parachute deploys

4:50:30 p.m. (1:50:30 a.m.) : Heat shield jettisoned

4:50:40 p.m. (1:50:40 a.m.) : Legs deploy

4:51:30 p.m. (1:51:30 a.m.) : Radar activated

4:53:09 p.m. (1:53:09 a.m.) : Lander separates from backshell

4:53:08 to 4:53:14 p.m. : Transmission gap during switch to helix antenna

4:53:12 p.m. (1:53:12 a.m.) : Descent thrusters throttle up

4:53:34 p.m. (1:53:34 a.m.) : Constant-velocity phase starts

4:53:52 p.m. (1:53:52 a.m.) : Touchdown

More on the schedule is available at this inspired NASA page, including the following note:

NOTE: The times below for the Phoenix spacecraft events on May 25 are for a nominal scenario. Remaining navigational adjustments before May 25 could shift the times by up to about half a minute. In addition, the times for some events relative to others could vary by several seconds due to variations in the Martian atmosphere and other factors. For some events, a "give or take" range of times is given, covering 99 percent of possible scenarios from the atmospheric entry time. For events at Mars, times are listed in "Earth-receive time" (ERT) rather than "spacecraft event time" (SCET). This means the listed time incorporates the interval necessary for radio signals traveling at the speed of light to reach Earth from Mars. On landing day, May 25, the two planets are 275 million kilometers apart (171 million miles), which means it takes the signal 15 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth. For some spacecraft events, engineers will not receive immediate radio confirmation.

Even more information available at the official websites: NASA's Phoenix page and University of Arizona's Phoenix page.

Leave a comment

The future is process, not a destination
Bruce Sterling

Everything is ultimately becoming information technology
Ray Kurzweil

Data is the Intel inside
Tim O'Reilly

There is only one machine and the web is its OS
Kevin Kelly

The medium is the message
Marshall McLuhan

Newer Post | Older Post | Home