Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

NASA Probe Begins Mission to Mars' Polar North

The Phoenix Mars Lander has safely landed on the Red Planet. But getting there is only half the battle.

The probe landed in Mars' northern polar region, an area believed to hold a reservoir of ice beneath the surface. The NASA spacecraft is on a 90-day digging mission to study whether the area has the raw ingredients needed for life to emerge.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Joe Palca
Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. From 2011 to 2020 he produced stories that explored the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors as part of his series, Joe's Big Idea. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.
Alex Chadwick
For more than 30 years, Alex Chadwick has been bringing the world to NPR listeners as an NPR News producer, program host and currently senior correspondent. He's reported from every continent except Antarctica.