Lander Zeroes in On Martian North Pole

NASA’s next spacecraft to visit Mars has changed course to zero in on its red planet landing site.
The Phoenix Mars Lander fired its thrusters for 35 seconds Thursday to fine-tune its heading for a planned May 25 landing near the Martian north pole.
“This is our first trajectory maneuver targeting a specific location in the northern polar region of Mars,” said Brian Portock, chief of NASA’s Phoenix navigation team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in a statement.
Phoenix’s targeted drop zone is an area that mission scientists have dubbed “Green Valley.” The region is a broad, flat valley where mission planners plan to land Phoenix somewhere within a 62-mile by 12-mile (100-km by 20-km) ellipse.