NEWS by Kelly Beatty
Orbiter Captures Curiosity's "Crime Scene"
There was a time when Martian landers made their dramatic passage through the planet's thin atmosphere and onto its bleak surface completely in isolation. No one back on Earth would know the landing's outcome until the spacecraft "phoned home."
But no longer. When NASA's Phoenix descended toward its polar landing zone in May 2008, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was waiting overhead to capture the dramatic descent of the capsule and its parachute.
Sources: Sky and Telescope Magazine, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Arizona
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