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Countdown to the Mars Phoenix Landing

The Mars Phoenix is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet on Sunday. The Phoenix — whose name evokes the magical bird that can rise from the ashes — incorporates some of the experiments and technologies that were originally scheduled to fly on previous missions that were canceled or failed.

The lander plans to touch down in an arctic plane and then hunt for frozen water and, perhaps, signs of life. Peter Smith, principal investigator at NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, talks about the mission and what scientists hope it will achieve.

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