This image, released on America's Memorial Day, May 26, 2008, shows the American flag and a mini-DVD on the Phoenix's deck, which is about 3 feet above the Martian surface.

May 28, 2008

This image, released on America's Memorial Day, May 26, 2008, shows the American flag and a mini-DVD on the Phoenix's deck, which is about 3 feet above the Martian surface. The mini-DVD from the Planetary Society contains a message to future Martian explorers, science fiction stories and art inspired by the Red Planet, and the names of more than a quarter million Earthlings.

Mars, a cold desert planet with no liquid water on its surface, has water ice that lurks just below ground level in its arctic region. Discoveries made by the Mars Odyssey Orbiter in 2002 show large amounts of subsurface water ice in the northern arctic plain. Phoenix will use its robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below and ultimately, to bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for sophisticated scientific analysis.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

ENLARGE

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