The phoenix mission to Mars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

After a picture-perfect launch to Mars on August 4, 2007 (see fig. 1), the Phoenix mission will land near 70° N on the northern lowlands on May 25, 2008 and perform an in situ investigation of the ice layer discovered by the Mars Odyssey scientists in 2002. Mars undergoes climate change through obliquity and orbital variations on time periods of 50,000 years. By analyzing the minerals, aqueous chemistry, and grain shapes of the soil associated with the ice, Phoenix will determine whether the ice has ever melted and modified the soil properties. Since water is a necessary substance for life on Earth, a major question for the mission is whether the northern plains represent a habitable zone on Mars. Besides water, the Phoenix team will assess the organic content of the soil and ice as well as the abundances of biologically active elements. Finally, the transport of water through soils and atmosphere is measured using a Canadian meteorological station supplemented by probes to evaluate soil conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6694
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
EventInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2007Aug 30 2007

Other

OtherInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period8/28/078/30/07

Fingerprint

Phoenix (AZ)
mars
soils
Ice
Soils
ice
water
weather stations
Water
climate change
plains
Climate change
Minerals
Earth (planet)
minerals
chemistry
atmospheres
orbitals
conductivity
probes

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Mars
  • Phoenix mission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Smith, P. (2007). The phoenix mission to Mars. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 6694). [66940P] https://doi.org/10.1117/12.735887

The phoenix mission to Mars. / Smith, Peter.

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 6694 2007. 66940P.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Smith, P 2007, The phoenix mission to Mars. in Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. vol. 6694, 66940P, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X, San Diego, CA, United States, 8/28/07. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.735887
Smith P. The phoenix mission to Mars. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 6694. 2007. 66940P https://doi.org/10.1117/12.735887
Smith, Peter. / The phoenix mission to Mars. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Vol. 6694 2007.
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