NASA is getting ready for its next Mars Lander to be launched. The Phoenix will be landing in the polar region, where we know ice exists.
Ice means water. Water might mean a better chance of determining if life exists on Mars. It will be checking the conditions to see if they’re amenable to life.
That seems to be a bit of a wishy-washy mission statement, though, and it would be a bit more exciting in their press releases to know if these instruments can do more than just check conditions and maybe give us a hint about the big question: is there life?