Phoenix Lander Crew's Cubicles Designed to Fight Perpetual Martian Jet…

I've always tried to look at jet lag from a more recreational perspective (when else will I rise from sleep wide awake at 3:45 AM?), but what the scientists of the Mars Phoenix Lander mission have to go through makes a 19-hour direct flight to Singapore look like cupcakes. Since Martian Sols are longer than Earth days… » 7/29/08 7:20pm 7/29/08 7:20pm

First Time Jitters Cause Inaugural Mars Lander Load To Miss Target

Our favorite Martian gadget of the moment is experiencing some performance anxiety. While all of Phoenix's parts are working just fine, including the 8-foot scoop arm, the little guy just couldn't seal the deal when NASA scientists gave the green light to scoop dirt and put the bun in the oven. None of the inaugural… » 6/08/08 11:30am 6/08/08 11:30am

Nasa's Phoenix Spacecraft Is Fully Scoopable

After experiencing a little trouble early on with the robotic arm on the Phoenix lander, it appears that all systems are go for NASA to begin sampling Martian dirt. A practice scoop was carried out successfully and scientists noted that "a bright material appears in the scooped-up soil and in the hole from which it… » 6/02/08 4:40pm 6/02/08 4:40pm

NASA Phoenix Lander Finds Water On Mars!

The landing thrusters aboard the Phoenix Mars Lander apparently did their job and them some. First, they successfully fired and gently deposited the multimillion dollar probe on the surface of the Red Planet. And then, by doing just that, they blew away three to six inches of Martian soil to reveal the shiny, slick… » 6/01/08 2:30pm 6/01/08 2:30pm

Mars Lander Can Move Arm Now, Probably Just Slept On It Wrong

Putting rest to fears that the Phoenix Lander might be DOA, the lander wagged its robotic arm on Thursday. NASA was worried that a stuck piece of plastic casing could prohibit the 7.7 ft titanium appendage from extending, making it impossible for the Phoenix to carry out crucial drilling experiments. » 5/30/08 8:41pm 5/30/08 8:41pm

Today is Phoenix Mars Lander Day

As you digest hot dogs or tend to one of your geektastic Memorial Day grilling machines today, take a moment to consider NASA's Phoenix Lander, which is scheduled to touch down on Mars this evening. At about 8 p.m. EST, the multimillion dollar lander will enter the Red Planet's atmosphere and experience what CNN is… » 5/25/08 10:00am 5/25/08 10:00am