PIA11716: Dark Skies and Clouds Move in at Phoenix site
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Phoenix
Spacecraft: Phoenix Mars Lander
Instrument: Surface Stereo Imager (SSI)
Product Size: 256 x 256 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: University of Arizona
Full-Res TIFF: PIA11716.tif (67.38 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA11716.jpg (4.825 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

Clouds of dust and ice swirl past the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in a series of images taken on the 132nd Martian day of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). The images show the increase in storm activity and potential for snowfall.

The solar powered spacecraft was disabled by decreased light from heavy dust storms in the area a few weeks later. The last communication heard from the lander occurred on Nov. 2, 2008.

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.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

Image Addition Date:
2008-12-15