Now, only 47 days left, it is time to start harvesting some of those reactions, one of those was from Jim Bell, from the Mars Exploration Rover mission, posted yesterday in the 50 days to Mars! post.
Today we have the pleasure of counting with Rosaly M. Lopes-Gautier, volcanologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, involved in, both, Cassini-Huygens and New Horizons mission but who didn't miss the opportunity to adress some words to the fellow space explorers in the Phoenix mission:
"There is great excitement here at JPL as Phoenix approaches Mars. We are all looking forward to learning more about Mars, but we also know that every landing on Mars is challenging. On May 25, Phoenix will spend 7 minutes descending on Mars, and I must say we will be a little nervous during that time.
Three spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars will listen to Phoenix, the orbits of these spacecraft have been tweaked so that they are in the right positions to be able to do that. This will be something of a record, to have three orbiters track Phoenix as it descends and lands. The data stream from Phoenix will be relayed to Earth throughout the spacecraft's entry, descent and landing events. If all goes well, the flow of information will continue for one minute after touchdown. This will make it an exciting landing to watch from here.
After landing, Phoenix will spend 3 months investigating Mars. It will use a robotic digging arm and other instruments to tell whether icy soil of the Martian arctic could have ever been a favorable environment for microbial life. The lander will also look for clues about the history of the water in the north polar region and will monitor weather.
I have several friends working on the mission (I work on Cassini) so I will be celebrating with them and will wait with great interest the science results that will follow."