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No rest for Phoenix

phoenix nasa.jpgPosted for Katharine Sanderson

Meanwhile, up on Mars, Phoenix isn’t getting a moment’s rest. And neither are the earthling space reporters, with the media still going nuts over the recently-landed Mars mission.

My favourite quote is in the New York Times from PI Peter Smith, talking about Phoenix’s stationary stance: “Five years ago when we started this mission, I was somewhat worried that we didn’t have wheels,” he said. Whoopsie. Good news, then that they think they’ve already seen ice (YES! ICE! ) right beneath the lander

This dig has been delayed twice already. This report from the Telegraph seems a little unfair, suggesting as it does in the headline, that it is Phoenix’s fault. Not so. The delay is because the communications satellites that relay instructions to, and information from, Phoenix keep getting turned off.

Still, it’s all looking good for a dig later today, so watch this space, and Eric Hand’s constantly updated blog for the latest on the search for life signs of life. Oh, and if you’ve had enough already of Phoenix, Space.com have got a story about whatmight happen next on Mars.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute/SSV [watch video animation of Phoenix digging here].

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