66 bar falls 29.88 1mph W dew-point 43 Beltane, night
Waning Gibbous Hare Moon
Tomorrow: the 500. And a few hours after, Phoenix Lander arrives at its destination. The following information is from the NASA website about the lander.
“With three days and 3 million miles left to fly before arriving at Mars, NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft is on track for its destination in the Martian arctic.
The spacecraft is closing in on the scariest seven minutes of the mission.
On Sunday, shortly after the annual 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Phoenix will be approaching Mars at about 12,750 miles per hour, a speed that could cover 500 miles in 2 minutes and 22 seconds. After it enters the top of the Martian atmosphere at that velocity, it must use superheated friction with the atmosphere, a strong parachute and a set of pulsing retrorockets to achieve a safe, three-legged standstill touchdown on the surface in just seven minutes.
The earliest possible time when mission controllers could get confirmation from Phoenix indicating it has survived landing will be at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday (7:53 p.m. Eastern Time). Of 11 previous attempts that various nations have made to land spacecraft on Mars, only five have succeeded.”
Geez, 3 days and 3 million miles to go. That’s what I would call rapid transit. 1 million miles a day. At that speed, in 93 days, you’d be roasting at Club Sun. It’s taken Phoenix 10 months to reach Mars. 10 months.
So, automobile racing in the early afternoon, a Mars landing around 7:30PM. What more could a guy ask for on a holiday?