Closing in on Mars: Course Slightly Adjusted
Phoenix successfully performed a maneuver on May 17 to adjust its course slightly toward the center of the approved landing area. Following a design from the mission's navigation team, the spacecraft fired its four trajectory-correction thrusters for less than two seconds. The next scheduled opportunity for a course correction will be May 24, the day before landing.
The statement below was posted on Friday, May 16.
Engineers are considering a maneuver that would nudge the flight path of Phoenix toward a targeted landing spot 18 kilometers to the northwest, with the goal of hitting the center of the certified landing zone. A final decision on the trajectory maneuver will be made Saturday afternoon, with execution at 9:00 pm PDT.
Media contacts: Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.