Click on the image for the animation
After NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander enters the Martian atmosphere, and is traveling at about 1.7 times the speed of sound, it will deploy its parachute. The spacecraft will descend on the parachute for nearly 3 minutes.
This illustration is part of the animation featured above.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.