The Phoenix Mars lander will be landing on Mars on Sunday, 5/25.  This is a lander, not a rover; it’ll stay in one spot and dig for water and signs of life. 

They’re using the same entry/descent/landing system as the Mars Surveyer that failed spectacularly in 2001 (stupid metric system), as well as parts from the Mars Polar Lander.

Minor correction:  Mars Polar Lander was in failed in Dec 1999 and it probably failed  due early to  engine shutdown in the  last little bit of landing.  Mars Climate Orbiter has the honor of the unit conversion  issues.  Thanks Kurt Schwehr, from Tucson Science Operations Center.

Like the Phoenix bird of ancient mythology, the Phoenix Mars Mission is reborn out of fire; this new mission was created from the embers of previous Mars endeavors. Phoenix will use many components of two unsuccessful Mars missions, MPL and MSP ‘01. Using lessons learned and an extensive testing program, scientists and engineers are confident that Phoenix will rise from the ashes revealing clues in the martian arctic soils about the history of water and potential for biology.

 I thought it was interesting that the project site mentions a number of times that Lockheed Martin is responsible for the spacecraft engineering.

Anyway…have a look.

Phoenix Mars Mission – Home

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