A first look at the Martian surface and one of the Phoenix landing pads - NASA/JPL
The Martian arctic landscape taken shortly after
landing by the Phoenix stereo camera. Notice that
the soil is broken into plates. This pattern is called polygonal
cracking, and is also seen in permafrost on Earth. It’s
caused by seasonal freezing and thawing of ice. - NASA/JPL
We did it – we arrived again safely on the red planet. It was a splendid touchdown, and Phoenix is sending more images as you read this. If you’d like to see them all, click here. To watch a video of mission control’s reaction to the landing, and for a more complete story, click on this link.
News report from NASA:
Pasadena — A NASA spacecraft landed in the Martian arctic today to begin three months of examining a site chosen for the likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander’s robotic arm.
Radio signals received at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time confirmed that the Phoenix Mars Lander had survived its difficult final descent and touchdown 15 minutes earlier. In the intervening time, those signals crossed the distance from Mars to Earth at the speed of light.
Mission team members at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.: Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, cheered confirmation of the landing and eagerly awaited further information from Phoenix later tonight.