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Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing

Orbiter camera sees ice-covered Phoenix lander

Spaceflight Now 
6 November 2009

A sharp-eyed camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted the Phoenix lander encased in dry ice in the depths of winter on the northern polar plains of Mars.

The pictures show Phoenix covered in carbon dioxide frost just before the predicted peak in ice coverage in September.

Phoenix touched down in May 2008 in the Martian arctic plains at 68 degrees north latitude. Scientists last heard from the lander last November as autumn set in at Mars' northern hemisphere and sunlight levels dropped. The carbon dioxide ice later encroached on the landing site and enveloped the spacecraft.

Full story from Spaceflight Now