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Astronomy magazine podcast: Phoenix to head to the Red Planet

Team member Andy Shaner provides insight on NASA's Phoenix mission to Mars.
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander monitors the atmosphere overhead and reaches out to the soil below in this artist's depiction of the spacecraft fully deployed on the surface of Mars. Phoenix will use a robotic arm to analyze scooped-up samples of soil and ice for factors that will help scientists evaluate whether the subsurface environment at the site ever was, or may still be, a favorable habitat for microbial life.
NASA/JPL/UA/Lockheed Martin
August 2, 2007
NASA's latest effort to search for water on Mars launches August 4. The Phoenix mission will then blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its way to Mars' frigid arctic. With help from its soil-scooping, telescoping arm, the craft's onboard science lab will see if conditions favorable to earthlike life exist or have existed in the past. Phoenix will also monitor the martian polar climate.

In this week's show, Phoenix team member Andy Shaner discusses what Phoenix will do at Mars.

To learn more about this mission, visit Phoenix's web site.

After you listen, e-mail us here and let us know what you think.

To subscribe to our podcast, click here.
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