The Phoenix Lander Is Now Broadcasting Live from Mars

The Phoenix Lander, a robotic research station that will do experiments for three months in the Martian arctic, yesterday touched down on Martian soil. It will drill down into the planet's crust to figure out what kinds of water exist frozen at the Martian poles, and perhaps help lay the groundwork for a Martian colony or scientific outpost. The lander settled into place late yesterday afternoon, landing without incident near the planet's north pole. It will be doing chemistry experiments and sending back tons of data (as well as pictures like this one, of its robo-foot on the Martian dirt) for several weeks. Unlike the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, it cannot move around so it will just be focusing on checking out the Martian arctic. Learn more about the Phoenix, and check out a constantly-updated stream of photographs, on the Phoenix Lander home page.