Phoenix Lander Touches Down on Mars

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229551main_Touchdown_516-387Just moments ago, NASA confirmed that their Phoenix lander successfully touched down on the Arctic surface of Mars. 

Mars Phoenix Lander Update — Touchdown
A signal has been detected from Phoenix indicating that the lander is on the surface of Mars.

According to NASA,

The Phoenix Mission has two bold objectives to support these goals, which are to (1) study the history of water in the Martian arctic and (2) search for evidence of a habitable zone and assess the biological potential of the ice-soil boundary.

Some consider the Phoenix probe to be the best chance of finding evidence of life, past or present, on the surface of Mars.  No other probe has ventured this far North on the planets surface.

The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water ice thought to be buried beneath the surface, and completed a 680-million-km (423-million-mile) journey from Earth to the Red Planet.

As this graphic from the BBC shows, Phoenix lands much further North than previous expeditions to our solar neighbour.

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