Farewell to the Phoenix

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has ended operations after repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful. A new image transmitted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows signs of severe ice damage to the lander's solar panels.

The spacecraft succeeded in its investigations and exceeded its planned lifetime.

one of the Mars Phoenix Lander's solar panels 
A view of one of the Mars Phoenix Lander's solar panels
from a composite of multiple exposures taken by the spacecraft's camera.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University Arizona/Texas A&M University Larger image

Phoenix reported on summer conditions at the far-northern Mars site where it landed May 25, 2008. The solar-powered lander completed its three-month mission and kept working until sunlight waned two months later.

Unfortunately, Phoenix was not designed to survive the dark, cold, icy winter.