(Photo credit: NASA)
The NASA Phoenix Mars Lander touched down on the surface of Mars on May 25, 2008. This nifty little robot, powered by a two-wing solar array, is equipped with a meteorological station, a robotic arm to collect soil samples, and a machine to analyze the samples. The robot has landed in the northern arctic plain, which is known to contain water (in the form of ice) below the ground surface. Could Mars have once supported life?
No samples have been analyzed yet, but the Weather Report for Mars was clear, sunny, and very, very cold, with a high of just -22 degrees F (-30 degrees C)!
The Phoenix Mars Lander should be working on Mars for the next three months. You can read about the goals of the exploration at Mission Overview and Mission Objectives.