| Share
 

Phoenix (U.S.)

Destination: Mars. Launch: Aug. 2007. Arrival: May 25, 2008. Mission: To study and analyze past and current existence of water on Mars while assessing the potential of a habitable biological zone on the planet. The spacecraft Phoenix (a fixed lander) touched down at Mars’ North Pole, the first successful powered landing on the planet since the Viking missions in 1976. The Martian poles are surrounded by large deposits of ice, leading scientists to believe that the poles hold the best evidence of life on Mars. The northern pole was selected for its maximum exposure to the Sun’s radiation, optimizing the capability of the lander’s 18-foot wide solar array, a device that converts solar radiation into electricity. The lander is equipped with multiple cameras, tools for soil examination, a meteorological station for atmospheric study, and most importantly, a robotic arm. The robotic arm is responsible for gathering soil samples for various onboard instruments to analyze. The Phoenix will only be operational for three months because of the extreme conditions the coming winter will bring. The lander’s onboard cameras will capture the gradual transition into winter, which will freeze the lander in a thick layer of carbon dioxide, and thus render it unable to function.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dawn (U.S.) Future Missions Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) (U.S.)

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring