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Phoenix - spring images, HiRISE views of Phoenix after the long, long winter
ElkGroveDan
post Apr 4 2010, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (briv1016 @ Apr 4 2010, 02:18 AM) *
Now I'm not sure about the credibility of this source,

Ken's a UMSF member in good standing who frequently reports on these topics. He's a bit of a loon about Mars but I'd say he's credible.


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briv1016
post Apr 14 2010, 03:35 AM
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In case you guys haven't heard, there was no signal from Phoenix during the 3rd listening period. They are going to evaluate if further attempts should be tried. (Probably around the solstice, if at all.)

http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/news/whats...&NewsID=992
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vikingmars
post Apr 14 2010, 08:12 AM
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Like many, I'm not so sad because I was not expecting any signal back from Phoenix...
The poor thing surely died during the winter sad.gif
My only interest is to see whether or not the solar panels have snapped off (or were bent) to the ground under the winter heavy ice load unsure.gif
I'm now waiting to see the next HiRise images...
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marsophile
post Apr 14 2010, 03:16 PM
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Suppose just one solar panel snapped off, but the other was still functional. In that case, it might take the greater solar illumination near the solstice to revive the craft.
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ElkGroveDan
post Apr 14 2010, 03:34 PM
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Suppose regional dust storms deposited material on the snow and ice as it was rising and then subsiding (when the ground was patchy). As the ice sublimated it would leave one or more layers of concentrated gunk the way retreating glaciers and snowbanks do on Earth. Therefore a cleaning event sometime down the road might raise power levels sufficiently, hopefully not after the final communication attempt.


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Hungry4info
post Apr 14 2010, 08:28 PM
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I haven't seen this done yet. So I went ahead and did it.

Anyone ever notice that Phoenix moved over?

You can see how the ground was disturbed by Phoenix landing, and now that it's moved over, that spot on the surface is now visible to MRO.

In fact, I'm really starting to think that Phoenix tipped over. The bright part is the deck facing the sun, the darker part is perhaps the underbelly in the shade behind the deck. Would be interesting to see this with the opposite illumination angle.

(animation)
Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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Explorer1
post Apr 14 2010, 09:22 PM
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I think you have something there; that looks like too much to be caused by lighting changes alone.
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Hungry4info
post Apr 14 2010, 09:52 PM
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Based on the position of the legs, there's only three ways that Phoenix can tip over if it were to do so, and the direction we observe it to move is one of them.

I'm at a loss as to what would be the mechanism for this though.


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helvick
post Apr 14 2010, 10:20 PM
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The CO2 ice loading scenarios for mid winter were pretty severe - I pulled some numbers in a post quite some time back ( here ) where I was guessing that there could be up to 25cm of CO2 ice on the deck\panels at the most extreme point. If that was just fluffy frost then it could be survivable but if that was more or less solid CO2 ice then that would be about 2.5 tons of ice - that could explain a toppled rover\solar panels stripped off.
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Hungry4info
post Apr 15 2010, 12:03 AM
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Wouldn't it collect more or less evenly on the deck?


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DFinfrock
post Apr 15 2010, 12:17 AM
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I suspect you are right that the ice would collect evenly.

But when the sun returned in the spring, perhaps the low sun angle would allow for one or two of the panels to be shaded more. If sublimation is quicker on some panels than on others, then the load of ice might perhaps be enough to shift the center of gravity enough to cause the lander to topple.

David
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Explorer1
post Apr 15 2010, 12:34 AM
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Sort of like when icebergs here on Earth tumble around as they melt. They get top heavy and eventually flip right over.
Except of course with dry ice instead of water!
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jekbradbury
post Apr 15 2010, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE (helvick @ Apr 14 2010, 05:20 PM) *
toppled rover

Well, I suppose Phoenix has managed to overcome its lack of a traditional mobility system...
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James Sorenson
post Apr 15 2010, 04:49 AM
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I'm just curious as to know if the Phoenix flight DVD or a model was load tested before launch? Considering how much C02 ice was probably on the deck, as well as the DVD it self, plus if Phoenix actually did tip over, that little disc sure has been through allot of torcher.
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akuo
post Apr 15 2010, 10:19 AM
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As far as I can see from the animation, the lander's shadow hasn't moved very much at all. Depending on the lighting geometry, Phoenix is still there on the spot, just camouflaged by the ice, dust and TEGA samples.


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