Phoenix will use an eight (8’) foot arm to analyze dirt and ice samples for traces of organic compounds which are the building blocks of life. Phoenix is a “retread”, built from a lander that was scrapped after the Polar Lander disaster. This mission is led by the University of Arizona, and is the first public university to lead a mission to Mars. The Phoenix is the first in NASA’s “Scout Program”, a program designed to be highly innovative, relatively low cost and to compliment major missions planned as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
If you are interested in more information you can track the progress at http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/ Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7