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Discovery Channel Canada plans to capture the next milestone in exploration of the Red Planet on May 25 at 7pm ET, when it will present Mars: The Phoenix Lands.
The two-hour special will include live footage as the Phoenix Rover arrives on the planet's surface at 7:46pm ET. The craft will be the first to explore the Martian arctic, and the Phoenix team hopes to uncover clues in the icy soil about the history of near-surface ice and its potential for habitability.
Hosted by Daily Planet's Jay Ingram - who will transmit live on the ground from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California - the special will cover the reactions of international space scientists and chronicle the Rover's development, which was more than nine months in the making.
Dr. Alain Berinstain, director of space exploration for the Canadian Space Agency, will join Ingram at mission control to provide a broader look at the scientific implications of the venture and comment on the first pictures of the Martian arctic.
UPDATED 05/12/2008 -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander continues on course for its May 25 arrival at Mars. After targeting its certified landing site with a trajectory, or flight path, correction maneuver on April 10, the spacecraft's performance has been stable enough for the mission's operators to forgo the scheduled opportunity for an additional trajectory correction maneuver on May 10 and focus on the next such opportunity, on May 17.
NASA has conditionally approved a landing site in a broad, flat valley informally called "Green Valley." A final decision will be made after NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes additional images of the area this month.
"Our landing area has the largest concentration of ice on Mars outside of the polar caps. If you want to search for a habitable zone in the arctic permafrost, then this is the place to go,"...