Looks like the planetary exploration team at the University of Arizona rolled a couple of sevens. The Phoenix lander touched down on Mars, and all early signs are green! While there have now been numerous landings on Mars, after several unsuccessful landings by many nations, this is the first successful landing in a polar region (the north pole) …… where there is ice ….. and maybe signs of former Martian life. This looks to be an exciting development in exploration, and I cannot wait to see future data come rolling in.
For the record, while 480 million dollars is hardly pocket change, in the annals of space exploration, this is a drop in the bucket for what could prove to be so important a mission.