Thursday, May 29, 2008

Phoenix Landed

My first month on the job and we had a spectacular landing on Mars. I even had to work. Although I was glad to be to be part of the event and I was shadowing Katherine so I wasn't doing anything critical.It was pretty darn cool. I worked in the Navigation Mission Support Area were the Phoenix navigators were working round the clock for a couple of the events like trajectory corrections and EDL. We watch the lander touch down through our real time doppler feed and everybody cheered when the lander relayed back the successful landing tone. Later on the pictures came in and we went into the main mission support area to check them out Its the room that you can see from NASA TV where everyone is wearing blue shirts. The back row is where all the VIPs sit, including Dr. Elachi, the lab director and some other big wigs from NASA. This is a shot taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the heat shield, parachute and back shell debris. Pretty awesome.

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