Closing in on Mars: Course Slightly Adjusted

artist concept of Phoenix in space Artist concept of Phoenix spacecraft en route to Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona
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May 19, 2008

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.

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