Monday, July 12, 2010


Thoughts of masquerade parties and fixed constants are behind us. If all goes well. our ARES spacecraft launched October 28, 2009 is nearing Mars. A landing is scheduled in Gusev Crater at noon local time July 13, 2010. That is 1805 Houston time or 0805 in Hawaii. As the spacecraft is near aphelion of a Hohmann elliptical orbit, Mars will overtake the spacecraft from astern at 2.65 km/sec. 24 hours from landing, at a distance of 228000 km, the planet spans 1 degree and 42 minutes, about 3 times the size of the Moon seen from Earth. Deimos and Phobos are spectacularly arrayed alongside the planet. The next day will be very busy and exciting for the crew, but the view is worth every moment.



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