Monday, May 24, 2010

Phoenix Lander after a Martian year

The latest HiRISE image appears to show that a solar panel of the UA's Phoenix Mars Lander has collapsed [right, dark spot in near center. See the original for a clearer view of the components. Credit, UA HiRISE].

Phoenix landed on Mars on May 25, 2008.

Team members Alfred McEwen and Mike Mellon have analyzed the lighting and shape of the components in some detail. They suggest that a thick layer of carbon dioxide frost accumulation put more weight on the panel than it was designed for, causing it to collapse.

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