Monday, May 26, 2008

Sol 0

The Phoenix has landed!
5:30 pm
Phoenix is now on the surface of Mars, much to the joy of everyone here in Mission Control. As icing on the cake, we've found that the lander is tilted only one quarter of a degree, which means we've landed nearly perfectly level. The next step for Phoenix is surface initialization during which the solar arrays, Surface Stereo Imager (SSI), Biobarrier (which has been protecting the robotic arm from contamination since it was sterilized on Earth) and meteorological mast will deploy. We should have data regarding the status of these deployments when Odyssey makes its first pass in less than two hours. Engineers in Mission Control are saying that our actual landing went far smoother than any simulation or test that was ever done. Stay tuned.

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