The Phoenix Has Landed

So caught up was I in holiday-weekend bacchanalia that I almost neglected to note that the Phoenix Mars Lander made a successful descent in the Red Planet’s north polar region yesterday.

“For the first time in 32 years, and only the third time in history, a JPL team has carried out a soft landing on Mars,” [NASA adminstrator Michael] Griffin said. “I couldn’t be happier to be here to witness this incredible achievement.”

There is water just beneath the surface in Mars’s polar areas, and this mission’s purpose is to have a look, with particular interest in the possibility of finding signs of biological activity. You can read the story here, and visit the mission website here.

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2 Comments

  1. Charles says

    I watched the “landing” (by which I mean I watched a bunch of NASA scientists listen to an altitude countdown) live on the Beeb yesterday morning. I actually felt a tinge of excitement, despite the fact that I was simply watching a bunch of guys in blue shirts pump their fists.

    Posted May 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    That makes perfect sense to me, Charles. Think of it! Our brave little machine landing on Mars! We should all be very proud. I know I am.

    Posted May 26, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Permalink