PHOTOS: Mars Lander Takes First ''Self Portraits''

PHOTOS: Mars Lander Transmits Historic Photos
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May 27, 2008An American flag sits next to a mini-DVD on the main deck of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in a color image released Tuesday, two days after the probe successfully landed near the Martian north pole.

The nonprofit Planetary Society compiled the DVD, which contains a digital library of science fiction stories, essays, and artworks featuring the red planet. The disc, which is expected to last for the next 500 years, also holds the names of a quarter million Mars enthusiasts from around the world.

The image is among dozens beamed back to Earth since touchdown showing the lander's onboard equipment and immediate surroundings. These first images are meant to help scientists evaluate Phoenix's health and decide when and how to proceed with their experiments.

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—Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
 
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