PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has won recognition from Popular Science magazine as an innovation worthy of the publication's "Best of What's New" Grand Award in the aviation and space category.
The lander finished its work on Mars this month, and its team of scientists continues to analyze information that Phoenix sent home during more than five months of operating at a landing site in the Martian arctic. It landed on May 25, 2008.
The lander's robotic arm delivered soil samples to onboard laboratory instruments that analyzed the composition and examined particles microscopically.
"For 21 years, Popular Science's Best of What's New awards honor the innovations that make a positive impact on life today and change our views of the future," said Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of the magazine.
More information on the award winners is online at http://www.popsci.com/bown/2008 .
The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, with project management at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and development partnership at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Max Planck Institute, Germany; Imperial College, London; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.