Studies Show Phoenix Landed In “Microbe-Friendly” Location

In his column for (3/31), Leonard David reports, “Evidence is building that NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander plopped down on a microbe-friendly location.” At the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference last week, Carol Stoker of the Ames Research Center “valued the Phoenix landing site as having a higher potential for life detection than any site previously visited on Mars. Moreover, the icy material that was sampled might periodically be capable of sustaining modern biological activity.” Suzanne Young of Tufts University also announced that results from the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer showed no substances “detrimental to all microbe life” at the site. “Young agreed that a repeat landing by a spacecraft near the northern polar region is warranted.”