When I lived on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula, it was common knowledge that anything you did there would be seen by somebody. Experience suggests this is actually true, too. That’s OK for the Miramar Peninsula, but on Mars?
When Phoenix began its descent to the Martian equivalent of the Arctic on Monday, it not only got seen – it got photographed! And what a photo… It was snapped by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from 200km above the surface, and clearly shows Phoenix on its parachute descent through the Martian atmosphere.
That’s the ‘chute at the top, and the spacecraft suspended beneath it, less than 10,000m from the surface, floating down to a landing on Mars. Wow.
If that’s what happens up there, I can understand the problem with the Miramar Peninsula.
The full story is on New Scientist.