Phoenix

Mission Summary

Phoenix was a lander sent to the surface of Mars to search for evidence of past or present microbial life. Using a robotic arm, it could dig up to half a meter into the Red Planet to collect samples and return them to onboard instruments for analysis. Besides verifying the existence of water-ice in the Martian subsurface, Phoenix discovered traces of the chemical perchlorate, a possible energy source for microbes and a potentially valuable future resource for human explorers.

As planned, the Phoenix lander ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Surface Stereo Imager (SSI)
- Robotic Arm Camera (RAC)
- Microscopy Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA)
- Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA)
- Meteorological Station (MET)


Type: Lander/Rover
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: August 04, 2007
5:26 a.m. EDT (09:26 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Landing Date: May 25, 2008
23:53 UTC
 
Mission End Date: November 10, 2008
 
Target: Mars
 
Destination: Green Valley, Vastitas Borealis, Mars
 
Current Location: Green Valley, Vastitas Borealis, Mars
 
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