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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Landscape Of Vastitas Borealis

View of Mars North Pole Horizon

Close-up of a Polygon Resulting From Frozen Seasons

Approximate colour pictures from Phoenix Mars Lander, of NASA, which landed on May 25th, on the ice-capped North Pole of Mars, after traveling since of August 2007 from Earth. Location is called Vastitas Borealis - 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude. Scientists know there is ice just below the surface - those ploygons are formed even on Earth from seasonal freezing and thawing of surface ice. Among the many things that are planned for the Phoenix lander, there is a scoop on board to dig up soil, heat it, and analyze the vapours for carbon compounds to see if there is any type of life beneath the surface soil or in the sub-surface ice.

Here is full coverage of the 90-day (or longer) mission.