The Phoenix Mission - A Trip to the Martian Artic
Peter H. Smith was Principal Investigator of the Phoenix Mars Mission.
After a spectacular landing on May 25, Phoenix got right to work digging a shallow trench and exposing the ice layer that we had sent our robotic geologist to study. Through cameras, a robotic arm, and an array of instruments the Phoenix team spent the summer remotely operating a remarkably reliable spacecraft and examining the arctic soils and ices for evidence that this unexplored region of Mars has the ingredients to support life. An overview of the mission and the first results will be discussed and contrasted to the long-lived rovers studying the equatorial region.