Mars Phoenix Lander May Have Found Ice Already!
Mars Coverage 6/1/08
The Mars Phoenix Lander hit a few snags
in it's first few days, but things are starting to look up. The first
difficulty was the wrapping that failed to release itself, causing
the lander to perform some extra maneuvers to free itself. A few days
later a short circuit was discovered that effected the landers
ability to heat soil samples for testing, but NASA officials said
these setbacks should cause no major problems. Overall, the lander is
in excellent shape.
On the bright side, the Phoenix Lander
seems to have landed directly on a bed of ice. According to reports,
when the lander set down on the surface of Mars, it disturbed the
dust cover and early images show what appears to be ice. This is
The entire purpose of the mission is to
find the ice and dig into it. The lander will then scoop up some soil
samples from the ice and heat it in attempts to identify life
supporting molecules. The sole fact that the lander is probably
sitting on ice brings the possibilities of success to life.
Although the discovery isn't 100%
confirmed, NASA is pretty sure the ice announcement is correct and is
making preparations to bring the mission to the next step. So far so