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Clear Skies Ahead
 
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This orbital view of the north polar region of Mars, where NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander will land, shows clear skies as of May 22, 2008. Mission planners are always on the lookout for dust storms in daily weather updates like this one, provided by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Based on current conditions, they are predicting good weather when Phoenix arrives May 25, 2008.

Temperature profiles, used to calculate atmospheric density, are also updated on a regular basis, provided by the Mars Climate Sounder, another instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Atmospheric density was well within expectations as of May 22, 2008. Mission planners will continue to receive updates on weather and atmospheric conditions prior to landing.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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