Francisco Franco is still dead.
After repeated attempts to regain contact with the dormant Mars Phoenix Lander, NASA finally concluded this week that the spacecraft has no chance of living up to its mythological namesake and rising from the ashes, the Associated Press reports.
NASA did not hold out much hope of the lander surviving the long martian winter but flew the Mars Odyssey Orbiter over the Phoenix landing site some 200 times in recent months in hopes of picking up a signal from a thawing craft.
Now, thanks to an overhead image of the lander captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA finally has closure.
As the AP reports:
“Earlier this month, an image taken by another spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showed changes in Phoenix’s shadows, consistent with predictions that hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide ice accumulating on the spacecraft could bend or break its solar panels.”
L.A. County to buy missile-warning satellite? [Los Angeles Times]