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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Phoenix Lander Engineering mockup

I went to the Phoenix Mission Operations Center last week with my wife and some of her students. Here is the engineering mockup that is used to practice procedures on before sending commands up to the lander on Mars. They've even got rocks and trenches in all the right places. This image was taken at 50mm focal length (with the "nifty fifty" lens) with an exposure of 1/100 seconds at f/1.8, ISO 800.
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Tuguldur said...

beautiful! heard it is going to shut down soon...

Jim said...

They are slowly shutting things down to conserve the more and more limited amount of power they are getting out of the solar panels as the sun spends less and less time in the sky. I think the arm and scoop have been stowed, for example and they are cutting back on other experiments too. Soon enough, the lander will be encased in ice and stop working, probably for good.