Robots On Mars Search And Catalog Red Planet

Photo of Martian surface from the Phoenix Mars Lander i i

hide captionThe Phoenix Lander scoops a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm.

NASA/JPL-CalTech/University of Arizona
Photo of Martian surface from the Phoenix Mars Lander

The Phoenix Lander scoops a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm.

NASA/JPL-CalTech/University of Arizona

Science Friday travels to the home base of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in Tuscon, Ariz., to discuss the continuing exploration of Mars. Scientists explain how various robots, both on the surface and in orbit, are mapping and cataloging the Red Planet.

The Phoenix is designed to study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian arctic's ice-rich soil. So far, the lander has identified water ice in soil samples, and has detected the chemical perchlorate in the soil, a sign of the presence of liquid water in the past.

Guests:

Peter Smith, principal investigator of NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, senior research scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona

Alfred McEwen, principal investigator of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, professor of planetary sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona

Steven Squyres, principal investigator of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission, professor of astronomy at Cornell University

William Hartmann, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute

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