The Phoenix, according to an artist’s drawing.
Phoenix landed safely on Mars on Sunday, May 25, 2008. It had traveled 422 million miles, half way around the sun to reach Mars. This was one of the proudest moments in America’s history of space exploration. Congratulations to Nasa!
Phoenix carried instruments and a robot digger to probe for water, ice and chemicals. It landed at 4:38 pm PDT and took 15 minutes, at the speed of light, to relay the radio signal back to Earth. The orbiter, Mars Odyssey, flew high above the landing site and was responsible for relaying the signals.
About 15 minutes after landing, Phoenix sent home images of red soil, the lander’s footpads, and the robotic arm. The instruments were activated and would begin working in a couple of days.
Please click on the thumbnail to enlarge.