The spacecraft has breaked the two weeks barrier separating her from Mars and right on course...
After April 10 TCM (Trajectory Corection Maneuver) which permited NASA’s Mars Lander to target its certified landing site, there was a programmed TCM for, last Saturday, May 10, well...that wasn’t necessary...Phoenix’s performance has been stable enough to allow the mission’s operators to skip this particular maneuver.
Now, and has you can check on the image below there are only two possible TCM separate Phoenix from the Martian arctic, the next opportunity takes place 5 days from now on May 17 and the following on May 24, yes...24 hours prior to arrival...Landing’s Eve...
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Still according to a JPL release the first possible confirmation time for the spacecraft's landing on May 25 will be at 4:53PM Pacific Daylight Time (11:53PM UTC). The event would have happened 15 minutes and 20 seconds earlier on Mars, and then radio signals traveling at the speed of light will take 15 minutes and 20 seconds to cross the distance from Mars to Earth on that day.
EDITED: Don't miss tomorrow's Phoenix briefing, to take place NASA Headquarters' James E. Webb Auditorium, at NASA TV starting at 11AM Eastern U.S. time (15PM UTC).
Who's participating? Ed Weiler, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, Doug McCuistion, director, Mars Exploration Program, NASA Headquarters, Peter Smith, Phoenix principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ray Arvidson, Phoenix landing site working group chairman, Washington University in St. Louis and Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
My fingers are starting to get crossed...
Until then don’t forget that Barry Goldstein, Phoenix Project Manager, will be here at spacEurope on May 15, 10 days before landing, for a Live Q&A.
Just one more thing, you have now only 6 days to send your works for the Through the Eyes of the Phoenix Competition!