Via pretty much everywhere comes the news that NASA has pronounced the Phoenix Mars Lander “silent, presumed dead”. The Martian winter is settling in, and the resulting cold and darkness have put the plucky robot out of action, though there is a vague hope it might revive itself when the seasons change. [image courtesy NASA]
In addition to finally confirming the water-on-Mars matter, Phoenix has been a real (and much-needed) media success for NASA; they tapped into the right channels to keep the mission in the public consciousness, not just through a regular (but very sexy and content-laden) website, but through Twitter as well. It feels as if now, after two decades of disappointments, disasters and disillusionment, space is something to get excited about again. Let’s hope it stays that way, eh?