UPDATED: January 21, 2010
January Listening Period Ends with No Word from Phoenix Mars Lander
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has completed all 30 relay overflights of the Phoenix landing site that were scheduled for Jan. 18 to 21, and heard nothing from the lander. Additional listening campaigns will be conducted in February and March. The Phoenix landing site will be receiving more sunshine during those periods, but the lander is still unlikely to be able to reawaken after the harsh Martian winter conditions that it was not designed to withstand. Phoenix operated for two months longer than its planned three-month mission on Mars in 2008.
NEWS RELEASE: 2010-024
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has completed 11 overflights, listening for the Phoenix Mars Lander on Jan. 19 and 20, without hearing anything from the lander. Nineteen more listening overflights are planned this week, and additional attempts in February and March.
The attempts are being made because of the unlikely scenario that Phoenix has survived Martian arctic winter conditions the spacecraft was never designed to withstand.
Phoenix landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and operated successfully about two months longer than its planned three-month mission near the Martian north polar region.
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
NEWS RELEASE: 2010-020