NASA/JPL-CalTech/University of Arizona
The Phoenix Lander scoops a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm.
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.
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