A NASA probe planned to land in the northern polar region of Mars between 65° and 75° latitude. The lander will deploy a robotic arm and dig trenches into the layers of water ice present there. Phoenix will analyse soil samples collected by the robotic arm in search of the chemicals of life. Phoenix's stereo camera will build up a three-dimensional picture of its surroundings while meteorology instruments scan the Martian atmosphere up to 20 km in altitude, obtaining data about the formation, duration, and movement of clouds, fog, and dust. It will also measure temperatures and atmospheric pressure. Phoenix is scheduled for launch in 2007.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.