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NASA's Next Mars Lander Heads for Florida

phoenix  lander
Artist's concept of Phoenix lander. Image credit: NASA/JPL
A U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft carried NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft Monday, May 7, from Colorado to Florida, where Phoenix will start a much longer trip in August.

After launch, Phoenix will land on a Martian arctic plain next spring. It will use a robotic digging arm and other instruments to determine whether the soil environment just beneath the surface could have been a favorable habitat for microbial life. Studies from orbit suggest that within arm's reach of the surface, the soil holds frozen water.


More: NASA Mission News - NASA's Next Mars Spacecraft Crosses the Mississippi