May 172008

mars lander

The University of Arizona is looking for a few good eyeballs and science geeks.

They have very high res photos of the targeted landing location for the ill fated Mars Polar Lander that disappeared in 1999 when it entered the Mars atmosphere. You may be the first person in years to see the lander since it left earth by helping to pour over some of their photos and possibly even solve one of NASA’s mysteries.

Probably our best chance of identifying the landing site is via the backshell and parachute. With the exception of Viking Lander 2, all of the successful landers‘ parachutes are bright objects in the HiRISE images. It is likely that the MPL parachutes would also be bright, if they deployed, due to their relatively short time on Mars.

Here’s a PDF that teaches you how to distinguish rocks from landers and heat shields or parachutes from dust devil tracks.

If interested, here’s the JPL report on the lost lander.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get cracking.

 Posted by at 9:53 pm

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