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26 May, 2008

Thank You NASA

Just congratulations and thank you to NASA for continuing to inspire the world. Their Phoenix spacecraft touched down in the Martian arctic last night (zulu) after a damned-near perfect flight and descent. The ship has travelled 422 million miles and was right on target! The pictures are starting to come in now but it's the science I'm waiting for.

Part of Phoenix's brief is to drill into the Martian permafrost and study the ice below the surface. There are lots of reasons for this. Partly it's to see what resources might be available to later crewed missions, partly it's to look for signs of ancient life, and partly it's just plain old curiosity. This is the first time we've been so far north on Mars (68 degrees) - talk about terra incognita!

So, thanks guys. Outstanding work! And I hope the rest of the mission goes as smoothly.

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