37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 18 Future Missions and Instrumentation
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Lecture Room 5

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[18.22] The Phoenix Mission and its Current Landing Site options

LK Tamppari (JPL), P Smith (University of Arizona), RE Arvidson (Washington University, St. Louis), Phoenix Team

Phoenix is the 2007 Mars Scout program mission that will send a lander and suite of instruments to study the north polar region on Mars. Central goals for the Phoenix mission are to study the recent history of water as written into the high latitude soils and to search for habitable zones. In order to do this, Phoenix carries a comprehensive suite of seven instruments. This suite includes 3 cameras, an optical microscope and an atomic-force microscope, allowing imaging at spatial scales ranging from kms, for large scale geomorphological studies, to microns, for examining single grain sizes and shapes. Phoenix also has a meteorology suite, which includes atmospheric temperature measurements at 3 levels, atmospheric pressure, and an upward-looking lidar, for dust and water-ice cloud detection. A robotic arm will dig a trench into the surface near the lander to collect and deliver samples to on-board chemistry and mineralogy experiments. These experiments will allow the detection of the mineral makeup of the soil as well as its water content, pH, salt content, and organic content.

An important aspect of this exciting mission is the selection of the landing site, within the 65-72 deg N latitude band. Both science and safety concerns will play into this selection. Work is ongoing to determine the most favorable location, with consideration focusing on the best ice/soil ratio, the shallowest slopes and fewest large rocks. Current sites under consideration will be discussed.

Selected in 2003, Phoenix was recently confirmed to proceed into Phase C/D of spacecraft development.

This research was funded by a NASA Grant and carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.