Meanwhile, Back on Planet Terror…

Things seem to be going well with NASA’s Phoenix lander, which touched down near the planet’s North Pole on Sunday. Controllers in Pasadena are reporting a few minor issues, the most serious being a communications problem with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that delayed the uplink of commands for movement of Phoenix’s robotic arm.

In the meantime, NASA has been releasing stunning images from the mission (images credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona). The image below shows the surface, part of a solar panel, an American flag, and a mini-DVD from The Planetary Society containing names, science fiction stories, art and other materials for future Martian explorers.

The photo below shows an overhead shot of the lander taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The orbiter also captured this stunning image of the spacecraft parachuting down to the surface, showing part of the “seven minutes of terror” Phoenix enduring during entry. This is the first time such an event has been ever captured on film.