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a return to Mars
Raul Colon
Telephone/Fax: 787-748-7312
E-mail: rcolonfrias@yahoo.com
PO Box 29754
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico 00929

 NASA’s most ambitious exploration system yet is on its way to the Red Planet to taste Martian water and search for the organic carbon building-block of life in the planets north pole. The area most scientists believe could harbor the best change to find water on the immediate surface area, around three to six feet below the crust of the planet. . The Phoenix Mission would perform the most advances studies ever made outside our own planet. Unlike its predecessors, the Sprit and Opportunity rovers, the Phoenix prove, which is equipped with the most advance geology sensors available, will perform experiments on soil and rocks to determine what chemical reaction is happening in the moment. Also, Phoenix will be able to perform advance climate studies on the Martian atmosphere. Liftoff of the 417-million prove is schedule for August 3rd, 2007 on Cape Canaveral, Fl; aboard a Delta II rocket in order to take advantage from the proximity of Mars at that time, 423 million miles; it will intercept Mars in approximately nine-and-a-half months after the lunch. As of today, Phoenix is expected to make landing on Mars on May 25th, 2008. Minutes after touchdown, the Phoenix prove will deploy its 6.7ft-dia. solar arrays.

Phoenix is not only a NASA developed project. Its vast array of systems comes from various countries. Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland and Switzerland are part of the Phoenix effort. Phoenix, also unlike Spirit or Opportunity, is not a rover prove. It was design to be stationary and perform experiments that the rovers, due to their lack of bulk and capacity, could not perform. Phoenix is equipped with an 8ft long vertical-mobility- robotic arm capable of digging in the Martian soil. Phoenix weigh is close to the Viking proves of the mid-1970s and its configuration resembles that of the failed Mars Polar Lander mission of 1999. Phoenix would not be able to communicate with Earth directly; instead it must send and receive data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey Orbiter. Odyssey was the first prove to find evidence of shallow ice near the first programmed Phoenix landing site. Now, with new imaging taken by MRO, a new and more promising landing site had been found. As of today, Phoenix was retargeted to hit an artic spot on the southwest part of the Martian South Pole. The Phoenix proves is not design to detect automatically full signs of life, instead it would prove the soil sample for atomic compositions and detection and measuring of bacteria-type formations. The main mission of Phoenix is to explore the Martial ice crust for any signs of living organism. If water is found under the ice crust of Mars, Phoenix will tested it for acidity and other related properties, such as a potential food sources holding spaces. The discovery of any type of organism would be a major discovery for the NASA scientist. It would mean that life on Mars, past or present, is at least a possibility. The finding of organism could also boots the theory posted in 1996 by the Johnson Space Center and Stanford University scientist who believe they founded evidence of ancient Martian life in a meteor discovered on Antarctica. Regardless of the entire advance systems installed on Phoenix, this probe is not design to find ancient life footprints on Mars. This would be the mission profile of the still-developing Mars Science Laboratory Rover which is schedule to depart Earth in the summer of 2009.

No matter if Phoenix break news with an amazing discovery or comes empty, the main purpose of Phoenix and missions like it, is to pave the way for an eventual human landing on the Red Planet. A move that would bring the best on all of us and something that would change history in a way that the Apollo program could only had imagine. We are going back to Mars!