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Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Two images of the Phoenix Mars lander taken from Martian orbit in 2008 and 2010. The 2008 lander image (left) shows two relatively blue spots on either side corresponding to the spacecraft's clean circular solar panels. In the 2010 (right) image scientists see a dark shadow that could be the lander body and eastern solar panel, but no shadow from the western solar panel.

Phoenix Mars Lander Is Silent, New Image Shows Damage

May 25, 2010 NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has ended operations after repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful. A new image transmitted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows signs of severe ice damage to the lander's solar panels.

"The Phoenix spacecraft succeeded in its investigations and exceeded its planned lifetime," said Fuk Li, manager of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Although its work is finished, analysis of information from Phoenix's science activities will continue for some time to come."

Last week, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter flew over the Phoenix landing site 61 times during a final attempt to communicate with the lander. No transmission from the lander was detected. Phoenix also did not communicate during 150 flights in three earlier listening campaigns this year.
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Peer Reviewed Papers

Science Magazine

H2O at the Phoenix Landing Site
Abstract  |  Full Text
Smith, Peter et al

Detection of Perchlorate and the Soluble Chemistry of Martian Soil at the Phoenix Lander Site
Abstract  |  Full Text
Hecht, Michael et al

Evidence for Calcium Carbonate at the Mars Phoenix Landing Site
Abstract  |  Full Text
Boynton, William et al

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