Phoenix Mars Lander: Getting Down and Dirty On the Red Planet

The next Mars lander is undergoing assembly and testing, being readied for departure next year to explore the martian arctic. This probe is equipped to dig deep, quite literally, into an ongoing mystery—the history of water on Mars and the planet’s potential as an extraterrestrial address for life.
NASA’s Phoenix Mars mission is the first in the space agency’s Scout series, a class of spacecraft designed to be inventive but relatively low-cost in furthering Mars exploration.