Phoenix Mars Lander.

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SDC : Dead Spacecraft on Mars Lives on in New Study
By Denise Chow Staff Writer
posted: 31 August 2010
07:29 am ET

Data collected by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander before it went silent for good on the Red Planet is providing valuable insight for a new study on the interactions between the Martian dirt and atmosphere.

NASA's Phoenix lander has been sitting idle in the Martian arctic since November 2008, when engineers lost the ability to contact the craft after its solar power supplies were depleted by the Martian winter. Photographs of the Phoenix lander from spacecraft orbiting Mars showed extensive damage to its solar arrays.

But now, Phoenix has a chance to contribute again thanks to a new study that draws on the data the probe gathered before it died. [Photos of Phoenix on Mars]

Vincent Chevrier, a research professor at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, has received funding from NASA to study measurements made previously by the now-defunct Phoenix mission. Chevrier hopes to develop a better understanding of how dirt on Mars interacts with the planet's atmosphere, as well as whether these interactions ever produce liquid water.


Full release here: ... Water.html

HOUSTON -- Data from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suggest liquid water has interacted with the Martian surface throughout the planet's history and into modern times. The research also provides new evidence that volcanic activity has persisted on the Red Planet into geologically recent times, several million years ago.

Although the lander, which arrived on Mars on May 25, 2008, is no longer operating, NASA scientists continue to analyze data gathered from that mission...

Phoenix precisely measured isotopes of carbon and oxygen in the carbon dioxide of the Martian atmosphere....

Niles is lead author of a paper about the findings published in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science...

This chemical signature suggests that liquid water primarily existed at temperatures near freezing and that hydrothermal systems similar to Yellowstone’s hot springs have been rare throughout the planet's past. Measurements concerning carbon dioxide showed Mars is a much more active planet than previously thought. The results imply Mars has replenished its atmospheric carbon dioxide relatively recently, and the carbon dioxide has reacted with liquid water present on the surface...

Measurements were performed by an instrument on Phoenix called the Evolved Gas Analyzer...

For more information about the Phoenix mission, visit:
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