Phoenix Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) Instrument Description

Phoenix Mars Descent Imager (MARDI)

Phoenix Mars Descent Imager with microphone


The Phoenix Mars Descent Imager (MARCI) will take pictures of the northern plains landing site during the lander's descent to the surface. MARDI also carries a microphone, which will be used to record the sounds as the heat shield is jettisoned, the air rushes past the lander, and the retrorockets fire.

A more detailed description of the Phoenix MARDI is forthcoming. Until then, please visit the description of the MARDI instrument that was built and flew to Mars on the Mars Polar Lander in 1999: (1999 MPL MARDI Description). In December 1999, as the Mars Polar Lander began its descent toward Mars, the MPL MARDI Science and Operations Teams were gathered at Malin Space Science Systems, awaiting the landing. Turn-on of the MARDI instrument was confirmed, shortly before the spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere. MARDI probably acquired all of its descent images, but they could only be returned to Earth if the landing was successful.

Animated GIF showing a test of the Mars Polar Lander Mars Descent Imager (MARDI).

This animated GIF shows a test of the Mars Polar Lander MARDI Entry, Descent, and Landing imaging sequence. The test was conducted with the instrument mounted on the lander. The test occurred on 9 November 1998.


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