NASA’s Phoenix Mars Mission Begins Launch Preparations NASA

NASA has given the green light to a project to put a long-armed lander on to the icy ground of the far-northern Martian plains. NASA’s Phoenix lander is designed to examine the site for potential habitats for water ice, and to look for possible indicators of life, past or present. Today’s announcement allows the Phoenix mission to proceed with preparing the spacecraft for launch in August 2007. This major milestone followed a critical review of the project’s planning progress and preliminary design, since its selection in 2003.