The Phoenix Lander successfully touched down onto the Martian Arctic a little over 16 hours ago.  It is not as cute as the Pathfinder, which captured the world’s imagination 11 years ago, and it doesn’t look as robust as the exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which are still running after nearly 4 years. Still, the Phoenix has already started sending back photos of well, dirt.  But most importantly, the Phoenix sensors will sample the dirt to see if there is evidence of organic life in it.  I don’t think this thing has wheels so the mission is no going to be as exciting to watch as the previous ones.  Scientists sure are excited though.

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