Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics

R. Arvidson, D. Adams, G. Bonfiglio, Philip Christensen, S. Cull, M. Golombek, J. Guinn, E. Guinness, T. Heet, R. Kirk, A. Knudson, M. Malin, M. Mellon, A. McEwen, A. Mushkin, T. Parker, F. Seelos IV, K. Seelos, P. Smith, D. Spencer & 2 others T. Stein, L. Tamppari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To ensure a successful touchdown and subsequent surface operations, the Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix Lander must land within 65° to 72° north latitude, at an elevation less than -3.5 km. The landing site must have relatively low wind velocities and rock and slope distributions similar to or more benign than those found at the Viking Lander 2 site. Also, the site must have a soil cover of at least several centimeters over ice or icy soil to meet science objectives of evaluating the environmental and habitability implications of past and current near-polar environments. The most challenging aspects of site selection were the extensive rock fields associated with crater rims and ejecta deposits and the centers of polygons associated with patterned ground. An extensive acquisition campaign of Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer predawn thermal IR images, together with ∼0.31 m/pixel Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images was implemented to find regions with acceptable rock populations and to support Monte Carlo landing simulations. The chosen site is located at 68.16° north latitude, 233.35° east longitude (areocentric), within a ∼50 km wide (N-S) by ∼300 km long (E-W) valley of relatively rock-free plains. Surfaces within the eastern portion of the valley are differentially eroded ejecta deposits from the relatively recent ∼10-km-wide Heimdall crater and have fewer rocks than plains on the western portion of the valley. All surfaces exhibit polygonal ground, which is associated with fracture of icy soils, and are predicted to have only several centimeters of poorly sorted basaltic sand and dust over icy soil deposits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE00A03
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume114
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2009

Fingerprint

site selection
Mars exploration
Phoenix (AZ)
landing sites
Site selection
Landing
Mars
Rocks
rocks
soils
valleys
Soils
rock
Deposits
deposits
ejecta
plains
craters
valley
Viking lander 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics. / Arvidson, R.; Adams, D.; Bonfiglio, G.; Christensen, Philip; Cull, S.; Golombek, M.; Guinn, J.; Guinness, E.; Heet, T.; Kirk, R.; Knudson, A.; Malin, M.; Mellon, M.; McEwen, A.; Mushkin, A.; Parker, T.; Seelos IV, F.; Seelos, K.; Smith, P.; Spencer, D.; Stein, T.; Tamppari, L.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 114, No. 3, E00A03, 20.03.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arvidson, R, Adams, D, Bonfiglio, G, Christensen, P, Cull, S, Golombek, M, Guinn, J, Guinness, E, Heet, T, Kirk, R, Knudson, A, Malin, M, Mellon, M, McEwen, A, Mushkin, A, Parker, T, Seelos IV, F, Seelos, K, Smith, P, Spencer, D, Stein, T & Tamppari, L 2009, 'Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics', Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, vol. 114, no. 3, E00A03. https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JE003021
Arvidson, R. ; Adams, D. ; Bonfiglio, G. ; Christensen, Philip ; Cull, S. ; Golombek, M. ; Guinn, J. ; Guinness, E. ; Heet, T. ; Kirk, R. ; Knudson, A. ; Malin, M. ; Mellon, M. ; McEwen, A. ; Mushkin, A. ; Parker, T. ; Seelos IV, F. ; Seelos, K. ; Smith, P. ; Spencer, D. ; Stein, T. ; Tamppari, L. / Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2009 ; Vol. 114, No. 3.
@article{1ee088bb7c3b458a8997167e4d1b4b9b,
title = "Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics",
abstract = "To ensure a successful touchdown and subsequent surface operations, the Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix Lander must land within 65° to 72° north latitude, at an elevation less than -3.5 km. The landing site must have relatively low wind velocities and rock and slope distributions similar to or more benign than those found at the Viking Lander 2 site. Also, the site must have a soil cover of at least several centimeters over ice or icy soil to meet science objectives of evaluating the environmental and habitability implications of past and current near-polar environments. The most challenging aspects of site selection were the extensive rock fields associated with crater rims and ejecta deposits and the centers of polygons associated with patterned ground. An extensive acquisition campaign of Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer predawn thermal IR images, together with ∼0.31 m/pixel Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images was implemented to find regions with acceptable rock populations and to support Monte Carlo landing simulations. The chosen site is located at 68.16° north latitude, 233.35° east longitude (areocentric), within a ∼50 km wide (N-S) by ∼300 km long (E-W) valley of relatively rock-free plains. Surfaces within the eastern portion of the valley are differentially eroded ejecta deposits from the relatively recent ∼10-km-wide Heimdall crater and have fewer rocks than plains on the western portion of the valley. All surfaces exhibit polygonal ground, which is associated with fracture of icy soils, and are predicted to have only several centimeters of poorly sorted basaltic sand and dust over icy soil deposits.",
author = "R. Arvidson and D. Adams and G. Bonfiglio and Philip Christensen and S. Cull and M. Golombek and J. Guinn and E. Guinness and T. Heet and R. Kirk and A. Knudson and M. Malin and M. Mellon and A. McEwen and A. Mushkin and T. Parker and {Seelos IV}, F. and K. Seelos and P. Smith and D. Spencer and T. Stein and L. Tamppari",
year = "2009",
month = "3",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1029/2007JE003021",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "114",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres",
issn = "2169-897X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix landing site selection and characteristics

AU - Arvidson, R.

AU - Adams, D.

AU - Bonfiglio, G.

AU - Christensen, Philip

AU - Cull, S.

AU - Golombek, M.

AU - Guinn, J.

AU - Guinness, E.

AU - Heet, T.

AU - Kirk, R.

AU - Knudson, A.

AU - Malin, M.

AU - Mellon, M.

AU - McEwen, A.

AU - Mushkin, A.

AU - Parker, T.

AU - Seelos IV, F.

AU - Seelos, K.

AU - Smith, P.

AU - Spencer, D.

AU - Stein, T.

AU - Tamppari, L.

PY - 2009/3/20

Y1 - 2009/3/20

N2 - To ensure a successful touchdown and subsequent surface operations, the Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix Lander must land within 65° to 72° north latitude, at an elevation less than -3.5 km. The landing site must have relatively low wind velocities and rock and slope distributions similar to or more benign than those found at the Viking Lander 2 site. Also, the site must have a soil cover of at least several centimeters over ice or icy soil to meet science objectives of evaluating the environmental and habitability implications of past and current near-polar environments. The most challenging aspects of site selection were the extensive rock fields associated with crater rims and ejecta deposits and the centers of polygons associated with patterned ground. An extensive acquisition campaign of Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer predawn thermal IR images, together with ∼0.31 m/pixel Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images was implemented to find regions with acceptable rock populations and to support Monte Carlo landing simulations. The chosen site is located at 68.16° north latitude, 233.35° east longitude (areocentric), within a ∼50 km wide (N-S) by ∼300 km long (E-W) valley of relatively rock-free plains. Surfaces within the eastern portion of the valley are differentially eroded ejecta deposits from the relatively recent ∼10-km-wide Heimdall crater and have fewer rocks than plains on the western portion of the valley. All surfaces exhibit polygonal ground, which is associated with fracture of icy soils, and are predicted to have only several centimeters of poorly sorted basaltic sand and dust over icy soil deposits.

AB - To ensure a successful touchdown and subsequent surface operations, the Mars Exploration Program 2007 Phoenix Lander must land within 65° to 72° north latitude, at an elevation less than -3.5 km. The landing site must have relatively low wind velocities and rock and slope distributions similar to or more benign than those found at the Viking Lander 2 site. Also, the site must have a soil cover of at least several centimeters over ice or icy soil to meet science objectives of evaluating the environmental and habitability implications of past and current near-polar environments. The most challenging aspects of site selection were the extensive rock fields associated with crater rims and ejecta deposits and the centers of polygons associated with patterned ground. An extensive acquisition campaign of Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer predawn thermal IR images, together with ∼0.31 m/pixel Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images was implemented to find regions with acceptable rock populations and to support Monte Carlo landing simulations. The chosen site is located at 68.16° north latitude, 233.35° east longitude (areocentric), within a ∼50 km wide (N-S) by ∼300 km long (E-W) valley of relatively rock-free plains. Surfaces within the eastern portion of the valley are differentially eroded ejecta deposits from the relatively recent ∼10-km-wide Heimdall crater and have fewer rocks than plains on the western portion of the valley. All surfaces exhibit polygonal ground, which is associated with fracture of icy soils, and are predicted to have only several centimeters of poorly sorted basaltic sand and dust over icy soil deposits.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67649185065&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=67649185065&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2007JE003021

DO - 10.1029/2007JE003021

M3 - Article

VL - 114

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

SN - 2169-897X

IS - 3

M1 - E00A03

ER -