Phoenix Lander Hardware: EDL +11
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Phoenix Lander Hardware: EDL +11
PSP_008585_2915  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
MRO's HiRISE camera acquired this image of the Phoenix landing site 11 hours after landing. The image shows three unusual features, which were not present in the earlier, pre-landing HiRISE image.

We expect to find three main pieces of hardware: the parachute attached to the backshell, the heat shield, and the lander itself. The parachute (lower right) is easy to identify because it is especially bright, although this image doesn't clearly reveal the backshell.

The double dark marking at upper right seems most consistent with disturbance of the ground from impact and bouncing of the heat shield, which fell from a height of about 13 kilometers.

The last object (upper left) appears to be a about the right size and height for the lander, and with dark objects on each side (to the east and west) consistent with the solar arrays.

This image was acquired in the nighttime, when the arctic sun was only 12 degrees above the horizon to the northeast. Later images will be acquired in the daytime with the sun higher in the sky and to the southwest, and could confirm our initial interpretations. North is about 7 degrees to the left of straight up in this image.

These objects were later confirmed on the subsequent HiRISE observation acquired 22 hours after landing.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (27 May 2008)

Click to share this post on Twitter Click to share this post on Facebook Click to share this post on Google+ Click to share this post on Tumblr
Acquisition date
26 May 2008

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
314.6 km (196.6 miles)

Original image scale range
31.5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~94 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
79°, with the Sun about 11° above the horizon

Solar longitude
76.9°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (3146MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (1707MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (1861MB)
non-map           (1357MB)

IRB color
map projected  (1075MB)
non-map           (1299MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (1097MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (1053MB)

RGB color
non map           (1311MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.