In May of 2008, the spacecraft Phoenix will land in the northern polar regions of the planet Mars. One after the other, the spacecraft's scientific instruments will come alive, and begin their search for water ice in the harsh Martian environment. Nestled among busy instruments, a small and very special DVD will wait patiently for its turn. This unique DVD is made of silica glass, and designed to last hundreds if not thousands of years into the future, when its true mission will commence. It carries nothing less than a message from our world to one centuries away, when humans will roam the Red Planet.NASA’s Phoenix will be the first lander to explore the Martian arctic, landing near 70 degrees north latitude. Led by Principal Investigator (PI) Peter Smith of The University of Arizona, with project management by JPL, it is a fixed lander with a suite of advanced instruments and a robotic arm that will dig up to a meter into the soil. Its purpose is to look for and study the water ice that is expected to be found there. The mission will launch in August of 2007, and land on Mars in May, 2008.
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