The Phoenix Mars Lander departs Earth aboard a Delta 2
8/4/07 ~ 5:26:34am

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UPDATED: PHOENIX LANDS! On May 25, 2008 at 7:53pm EDT Earth-receive time, the Phoenix Mars lander successfully touched down on the north-polar region of Mars. It is the first time since 1976, when Viking 1 & 2 made the first successful Mars landings, that a spacecraft landed under the power of engines. Phoenix is the sixth successful touchdown on Mars, joining the Vikings, Mars Pathfinder in 1997 and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2004. The last attempt to land with engines, Mars Polar Lander in 1999, failed; half of all Mars landings have ended in disaster.

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander blasts off for the Red Planet's north pole on Aug. 4, 2007 headed towards a May 25, 2008 touchdown. Launched aboard a 13-story Delta 2 rocket, the vehicle departed the Earth on its first try at 5:26:34am EDT.

Phoenix in the cleanroom            MST rollback reveals cosmic Delta 2 sight

<--- THEMIS                                     Dawn --->
More pictures from Press Site 1, 1.50 miles from pad 17A:
A noctilucent cloud glows in sunlight, produced by exhaust from the first and second stage: