The Phoenix is on the Martian surface!!!!! and about to start its experiments. Can you imagine how unbelieveable the next 90 days of experiments will be? This little robot who is about to start digging to find hidden treasures within the soil and rocks below it. With the chemistry experiments that Phoenix it can do, scientists think they'll find new information that has never been. In the fall, the sun will permanently set on Mars and Phoenix will be encased in the Martian polar ice cap or frozen carbon dioxide 1 meter thick.
Honestly I have to tell you that I haven't been this excited about something in our space program for years. Last night as I watched every second of the 7 Minutes of Peril/Terror, I kept thinking about those long ago days when we were all crowded into my elementary school gym to squint at a TV way up on the stage...hoping that John Glenn would be successful.
Not long after it landed, I got my first email from one of my students. They were excited and wondered if I had watched. And then came another email and another and another. It would seem that 7 or 8 kids watched this broadcast on Sunday night. We studied robots and then extended that study to the Phoenix. Thinking about this 450 pound robot that traveled for almost a year really pushed my students to think beyond their beloved Sumobot. They began to catch a glimpse at the possibilities.
How exciting. What if one of them someday is able to go to Mars? Oh to be young and at the point where all the fun of space exploration is before you!!!! What are the scientific truths of the Martian polar ice caps (especially in this year of Earth's polar zones)?