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This animation blinks between two images of our Mars Phoenix Lander. The first –…

This animation blinks between two images of our Mars Phoenix Lander. The first –…

This animation blinks between two images of our Mars Phoenix Lander. The first – dark smudges on the planet’s surface. The second – the same Martian terrain nearly a decade later, covered in dust. Our Mars orbiter captured this shot as it surveyed the planet from orbit: the first in 2008. The second: late 2017.

In August 2008, Phoenix completed its three-month mission studying Martian ice, soil and atmosphere. The lander worked for two additional months before reduced sunlight caused energy to become insufficient to keep the lander functioning. The solar-powered robot was not designed to survive through the dark and cold conditions of a Martian arctic winter.

Read the full story HERE.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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