Photo: On "Dream" Terrain, Mars Lander Readies for Experiments



The first images taken from the successful Mars lander touchdown on May 25, 2008, show some of the planet's soil (left) and a footpad firmly planted on Martian permafrost (right).

Now researchers are gearing up for the first surface-based study of the red planet's north pole, which includes vaporizing samples in tiny ovens that can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (982 degrees Celsius).

Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


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