A new emissary from Earth is set to parachute onto Mars May 25, making it the first craft to land on the Red Planet’s north polar region.
NASA’s $386-million Phoenix Mars Lander features a robotic arm — similar to a backhoe — that will dig trenches up to half a meter deep in the frigid soil, scraping and scooping up samples of ice that previous satellite studies indicate lie just a few centimeters beneath the surface.
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