Heavy Snow – On Mars

It isn’t just North and South Hemispheres on Earth

We have an interesting coincidence. Not only has the snow picked up on Earth, but it’s picked up on Mars too! Looks like the Phoenix Mars Lander has succumbed to excess snow load. Must be something people on earth did with our CO2 consumption leading to a new Little Ice Age for the whole Solar System…

Phoenix Mars Lander

Phoenix Mars Lander

So in this news story:


we have a report of the demise of the Phoenix Mars Lander due to excessive snow during the Martian winter. Who knew?

NASA has confirmed that its Phoenix Mars Lander has not survived the harsh Red Planet arctic winter, and appears to have suffered serious ice damage to its solar panels.

The agency has been attempting to contact the lander since January, in the slim hope it may have supported the weight of up to 30cm of accumulated carbon dioxide frost.

Hit the link, give it a read, nice pictures.

What power humans wield, we can even cause harsh winters on Mars. Must be the CO2…


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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4 Responses to Heavy Snow – On Mars

  1. papertiger says:

    What a happy coincidence. This is the exact topic I wanted to talk with you about.

    THinking about the Mars rovers recent demise it occures to me that NASA must keep records of the solar panel output over time, which would make those records a direct measurement of recent solar output, finely calibrated and much more trustworthy then any global temp record on Earth.

    What are the chances of getting our hands on that info?

  2. papertiger says:

    Museums feature the Mars rovers with huge displays, pushing them forward, making them popular with kids. (Eighty one million returns on google for Spirit and Opportunity)
    Odyssey and Global Surveyor, not so much. (Just 125k returns)

    Now why this disparity when the orbiters are doing the lion share of the real cutting edge science, like discovering newly froze landers and recording long term climate histories (which show that Mars and Earth have a shared cycle of ice ages and interglacials btw)?

    We both know why.

    The warmers rule the heavens and they want Global Surveyor, Venus Express, Cassini and every other interplanetary mission to be buried deep from the eyes of the public until they get their political agenda established beyond the point of return.

    The rovers are “safe science” in that they can’t conceive of a way that information would be used to debunk the agenda. So they go ahead and feature them in museums in big shiny display cases labeled NASA SCIENCE!

    You see where I’m going here?

    If we can get the rovers to sit up and bark “AGW is bogus” – that would be a heck of a good PR coup ju-jitsu.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. Interesting approach.

    There is the ‘issue’ of the solar panel to sun angle changing all the time, but that might be something that could be corrected.

    (It would be easier to use something like SOHO that has panels always looking at the sun).

    At any rate, simply watching them become frozen under Marian Snow (or frost, or ice, or whatever they want to call it) will be great fun.

    I’m also pretty sure that after 30 to 40 years of shrinking Martian Ice Caps we’re going to have them growing. And that will be very hard to hide.

  4. papertiger says:

    It might be as easy as checking how long it took to recharge the rover’s batteries in say 2005 versus the same interval in 2009.
    Or maybe how long the rovers could operate on that unspecified charge on a given day in 2005 as opposed to a later date.

    I remember last year reading a comment from one of the NASA boobs who was asked about the rovers “unusually long” mission life and how they kept exceeding expectations. He implied that the rover team had been lying about the expectations, that they had engineered the long operational life into them then sold the public a very conservative estimate in order to portray a happy story of NASA competence.

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