In this artist's concept illustration, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander begins to shut down operations as winter sets in. The far-northern latitudes on Mars experience no sunlight during winter.

In this artist's concept illustration, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander begins to shut down operations as winter sets in. The far-northern latitudes on Mars experience no sunlight during winter. This will mark the end of the mission because the solar panels can no longer charge the batteries on the lander. Frost covering the region as the atmosphere cools will bury the lander in ice.

Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.

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