Sad, Lonely Mars Phoenix Lander Gets One Last Chance to Call Home

Wondering why we hadn't heard from NASA's Mars Phoenix lander in a while? Ever since the harsh Martian winter of 2008 set in, the poor guy's been in deep freeze. This week, he's got one last chance to make contact.

From yesterday until Friday, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter is going to listen for signals coming from the Phoenix lander, in hopes that its solar panels had collected enough energy for reanimation.

In truth, the Phoenix lander was never intended to last this long; its original mission was slotted for three months, and it lasted a full five! But if you name something "Phoenix," it's gonna be disappointing not to see it come back to life. So let's all shut our eyes really tight, clap our hands really hard, and just believe. If it worked for Tinkerbell, it may as well work for NASA. [MSNBC, Image via Getty]