The Phoenix mission on Mars


Yesterday at UC-Berkeley, I attended a talk given by Peter Smith, PI of the the Phoenix mission. Peter gave us an overview of the mission, its concept and a few information about the scientific results. A serie of articles will be most likely published soon in a special issue of Science, so i will not go through the scientific results in  details in this post. To summarize them and to impress people during your next dinner, you should know that the mission allows the detection of water ice in the soil, shows the absence of sulfate on the surface but the presence of a weird salt called perchlorate and detected falling snow in the atmosphere. More details can be found in the wikipedia web page which is quite impressive in quality and completeness. The team is using the remaining funding to analyze gigabytes of data/images which were received, so more discoveries will be announced in the following months and years. The key result is that no life was detected in the Arctic soil of Mars. 🙂