The Phoenix Mars Polar Lander has died. It stopped transmitting data last week as the Martian winter approaches and the power the Sun has to recharge the solar cells is diminished.
The last signal was received by NASA on November 2nd and concludes what is deemed an incredibly successful mission.
Phoenix was launched on August 4 2007 and touched down over 8 months later on May 25 2008. During its time on Mars the Lander dug trenches to reveal ice, dug holes and transferred regolith to the onboard ovens. The biggest accomplishment was the discovery of water ice below the surface which the NASA engineers were able to watch sublime away.
Along with these discoveries Phoenix transmitted more that 25,000 pictures of the surrounding terrain and the local environment around the craft.
Meanwhile in an incredible feat of endurance the 2 rovers Opportunity and Spirit are still roving the surface gathering information about the history of the red planet.
Well done to the boffins at NASA for another successful mission and I look forward to the next major Mars adventure.