Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mars probe set for risky landing

A US space agency (Nasa) probe is preparing for a risky landing on the surface of Mars.

The Phoenix lander is due to touch down on Monday in the far north of the Red Planet, after a 423-million-mile journey from Earth.

The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water ice thought to be buried beneath the surface.

Scientists say the mission should give the clearest indication yet of whether Mars could once have harboured life.

The final seven minutes of the probe's ten-month journey is regarded as the riskiest part of the mission.

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