The always curious blog In Other Words reports on the expected Phoenix Lander mission termination, as the rigorous martian winter approaches:

NASA engineers will be trying to terminate the mission as gracefully and gradually as possible, to maximize the science return. Already, the robotic arm has been shut down, and won’t be used again. Soon, the heaters will be turned off, one by one.

The cold winter requires more energy to power small heaters to keep instruments operable; but long nights and cloudy days will block the lander’s solar panels. A few instruments and heaters were already turned off to save energy, including the mighty robotic arm. The Planetary Society has a schedule of the shut-offs, that should last for another week or so.

death approaches

Phoenix Lander: death approaches