NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft is due to land in the north polar region of Mars in just a few days. The spacecraft was originally built for the Mars Surveyor program (2001) but was shelved temporarily following the failure of the Mars Polar Lander. Most notably the spacecraft has a robotic arm designed to scoop up soil and ice samples and deliver them to the onboard lab for analysis. International Mars lander missions have been notable for their >50% failure rate — here’s hoping NASA has success this time!
NASA – Phoenix to land on Mars this Sunday