Thursday, April 17, 2008

Phoenix Mars Lander Update

The trajectory of the new Phoenix Mars Lander, NASA's first low-cost Scout mission, was changed a week ago on the 10th. Since its launch on August 4th, Phoenix has travelled just over 380 million miles, currently running at a reported 46,000 miles per hour (73,577 kph). The speed is tricky because it depends on your frame of reference, and on the fact that the project FAQ lists the cruising speed as 74,000 mph (presumably relative to Earth) and 14,000 mph wrt Mars, but the 73,577 kph reported above is from the 16 April computer-generated trajectory views from the project web site. Phoenix is expected to land on May 25th.

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