Wednesday, November 12, 2008
End of phoenix
NASA officials on Monday declared an end to the nearly six-month mission at Mars' north pole, the first to touch and taste the water on an alien planet.
Phoenix sent its last message on Nov. 2 before a lack of power caused it to go to sleep permanently, it now appears.
The craft survived nearly three months longer than its expected 90-day mission but was finally done in by a combination of plunging temperatures with the approach of the Martian winter and the effects of an arctic dust storm that coated the lander's solar panels.