This artist's conception depicts NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander a moment before its touchdown on the arctic plains of Mars.

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This artist's conception depicts NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander a moment before its touchdown on the arctic plains of Mars. Pulsed rocket engines control the spacecraft's speed during the final seconds of descent.

This illustration is part of the animation featured above.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

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