The Phoenix Lander seen from above

Phoenix descent as seen from above The image of the lander suspended by its parachute has been widely spread online and in the news but it wasn't until I was browsing through the Phoenix website that I saw the raw image with Mars in the background. (Click the image for the full view.) It is a spectacular view especially imagining the precision it must have taken to get it lined up. It's hard enough getting several people to smile at the same time in a picture. The shot was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as it passed overhead.

I have been impressed by NASA coverage of the lander so far. The two hours of live coverage during the "Entry, Descent and Landing" was captivating and informative (even though I watched it late via TIVO). A friend described it well in text during the coverage, "It is the most amazing real time planetary lander event I've ever seen from NASA!" I wrote back, "Don't tell me who wins - Tivo'ing"