Well, today marks another milestone with the successful continuation of the Phoenix Mars Lander mission.
NASA successfully landed another probe on Mars, this time using a powered rocked descent, a riskier yet less hair-raising method of landing than the ‘controlled Michlin-man crashing into a planet’ descent of the Pathfinder Mission.
First images are already available, but the best part today is the transcript of the engineers as the data of the landing was beamed back to Earth. Read the entire landing sequence in this excellent Spaceflight Now article, but here’s a taste:
“Standing by for lander separation. Altitude 1,100 meters. Signal may drop out during lander separation. Altitude 1,000 meters.
“Separation detected! We have reacquired the signal, gravity turn detected. (cheers) Altitude 600 meters… 500 meters…