Sol 63 Press Release Videos The video gallery shows videos relating to the Phoenix Mission press release on July 29, 2008.


How Phoenix Creates Color Images

This simple animation shows how a color image is made from images taken by Phoenix.

The Surface Stereo Imager captures the same scene with three different filters. The images are sent to Earth in black and white and the color is added by mission scientists.

By contrast, consumer digital cameras and cell phones have filters built in and do all of the color processing within the camera itself.

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.



Video Credit: Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona Download

Zenith Movie showing Phoenix's Lidar Beam

A laser beam from the Canadian-built lidar instrument on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander can be seen in this contrast-enhanced sequence of 10 images taken by Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager on July 26, 2008, during early Martian morning hours of the mission's 61st Martian day after landing.

The view is almost straight up and includes about 1.5 kilometer (about 1 mile) of the length of the beam. The camera, from its position close to the lidar on the lander deck, took the images through a green filter centered on light with wavelength 532 nanometers, the same wavelength of the laser beam. The movie has been artificially colored to to approximately match the color that would be seen looking through this filter on Mars. Contrast is enhanced to make the beam more visible.

The lidar beam can be seen extending from the lower right to the upper right, near the zenith, as it reflects off particles suspended in the atmosphere. Particles that scatter the beam directly into the camera can be seen to produce brief sparkles of light. In the background, dust can be seen drifting across the sky pushed by winds aloft.

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.



Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University/CSA Download

Full-Circle Color Panorama of Phoenix Landing Site on Northern Mars, Movie

This view combines more than 400 images taken during the first several weeks after NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on an arctic plain at 62.22 degrees north latitude, 234.25 degrees east longitude on Mars.

The movie makes a slow tour around highlights of the image.

The full-circle panorama in approximately true color shows the polygonal patterning of ground at the landing area, similar to patterns in permafrost areas on Earth. The center of the image is the westward part of the scene. Trenches where Phoenix's robotic arm has been exposing subsurface material are visible in the right half of the image. The spacecraft's meteorology mast, topped by the telltale wind gauge, extends into the sky portion of the panorama.

This view comprises more than 100 different camera pointings, with images taken through three different filters at each pointing. It is presented here as a cylindrical projection.

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.



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

Testing of Icy-Soil Sample Delivery in Simulated Martian Conditions

This movie clip shows testing under simulated Mars conditions on Earth in preparation for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander using its robotic arm for delivering a sample to the doors of a laboratory oven.

The icy soil used in the testing flowed easily from the scoop during all tests at Martian temperatures. On Mars, icy soil has stuck to the scoop, a surprise that may be related to composition of the soil at the landing site.

This testing was done at Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, which supplied the Phoenix scoop.



Video Credit: Image NASA/JPL/Honeybee Robotics Download

Full-Circle Color Panorama of Phoenix Landing Site on Northern Mars, Animation

This view combines more than 400 images taken during the first several weeks after NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on an arctic plain at 62.22 degrees north latitude, 234.25 degrees east longitude on Mars.

This movie makes a slow tour around highlights of the image.

The full-circle panorama in approximately true color shows the polygonal patterning of ground at the landing area, similar to patterns in permafrost areas on Earth. The center of the image is the westward part of the scene. Trenches where Phoenix's robotic arm has been exposing subsurface material are visible in the right half of the image. The spacecraft's meteorology mast, topped by the telltale wind gauge, extends into the sky portion of the panorama.

This view comprises more than 100 different camera pointings, with images taken through three different filters at each pointing. It is presented here as a cylindrical projection.

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.



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

Snow White Trench Animation

This animation shows the evolution of the trench called "Snow White" that NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander began digging on the 22nd Martian day of the mission after the May 25, 2008, landing.

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.




Video Credit: Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A Download

Animation of TEGA Sample Delivery and Analysis

This animation shows NASA's Phoenix Lander's Robotic Arm scoop delivering a sample to the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) and how samples are analyzed within the instrument.

TEGA has eight tiny ovens for measuring constituents in the atmosphere and in the soil, including possible organic constituents and the melting point of ice.

The scoop drops soil onto a fine mesh screen between TEGA's open doors. Some soil passes through the screen, which vibrates, into the throat of a funnel, where a spinning device called the 'whirligig' aids delivery into one half of a tiny oven. The soil sample is represented here by the white chip. The filled oven half then rotates and mates with the other oven half, closing the complete oven so sample heating can begin. The purple coil in this animation is the spring that moves the oven halves together.

Heating occurs at successively higher temperatures over several days. The energy required to heat the sample is measured to discover its thermal properties. Gases driven off during sample heating pass through tubing to the mass spectrometer for analysis.

Note that the exterior doors above the screen never close after sample delivery.

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.



Video Credit: Animation Solar System Visualization Project, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Download

Movie of Phoenix Mars Lander's Telltale from the First Half of the Primary Mission

The Meteorological Station on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander includes a telltale to gauge wind direction and speed. This animation portrays changes in wind during the course of a Martian day, based on a selection of 271 images from the 1,225 total telltale images captured by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager through the mission's first 45 Martian days, or sols, (May 26 to July 10, 2008). The images were selected to best represent the time period from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. local true solar time at the Phoenix landing site, in two-minute intervals.

The camera took the images through a blue filter designed to look at objects on the deck. The images have been stretched to improve contrast and ratioed to constant optical depth and lighting conditions on the telltale mirror. In this animation, the individual images have been shown superimposed upon a full image of the telltale from Sol 13 for context.

The telltale is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall.

As the day progresses, the position of the bob can be seen to change position as the winds at the Phoenix Landing site change direction. The change in lighting conditions can also be observed as a darkening of the telltale mirror and cross. Variability in the wind speed at certain times of day shows up as rapid motions of the telltale bob. This animation is only possible as a result of the consistency of the observed surface winds at the Phoenix Landing site which vary more significantly over the course of a day than they do from one day to the next.

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.



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

Wind-Related Topography in Phoenix's Region of Mars

This movie shifts from a global zoom indicating the Phoenix landing area on Mars to a topographical map indicating relative elevations in the landing region. The elevations could affect wind patterns at the site.

In particular, Phoenix is in a broad, shallow valley. The edge of the valley, about 150 meters (500 feet) above the floor, may provide enough of a slope to the east of Phoenix to explain winds coming from the east during nights at the site. Cooler, denser air could be sinking down the slope and toward the lander.

Atmospheric scientists on the Phoenix team are analyzing wind patterns to distiguish effects of nearby topography from larger-scale movement of the atmosphere in the polar region.

The elevation information for this topographical mapping comes from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. The blue-coded area is the valley floor. Orange and yellow indicate relatively higher elevations.

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. JPL managed the Mars Global Surveyor mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate.



Video Credit: Image NASA/JPL-Caltech Download