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

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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.


The primary goal of the mission is to drill a few inches into Martian soil, where scientists think they may find red "water-ice," known on earth as strawberry Slushee, which could provide compelling evidence that life once did (or one day could) exist there. Digging is expected to start soon, but for now there's plenty of terrain pr0n at the Phoenix official website [Phoenix via NY Times] -by John Herrman