Phoenix Mars Mission. ‘The Phoenix Mars Mission is the first in NASA’s Scout Program. Phoenix is designed to study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian arctic’s ice-rich soil.
The Phoenix Mars Mission has a collaborative approach to space exploration. As the very first of NASA’s Mars Scout class, Phoenix combines legacy and innovation in a framework of a true partnership: government, academia, and industry. Scout class missions are led by a scientist, known as a Principal Investigator (PI). Peter Smith of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory serves as Phoenix’s PI and is responsible for all aspects of the mission.’
Science Daily: ‘Extreme Analytical Chemistry’ Will Help Unravel Mars’ Mysteries. ‘Sam Kounaves spends his time unraveling fundamental questions in planetary science by applying “extreme analytical chemistry” to the harshest environments imaginable: Places like Death Valley, Antarctica — and now Mars.
The Tufts professor is a co-investigator on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander Mission currently scheduled for launch on August 4. Kounaves will be leading the chemical analysis of Martian soil and ice after the Lander craft touches down on Mars in May 2008.
It’s a fitting challenge for someone who grew up with dreams of being an astronaut going to Mars, and fascinated by science. Kounaves is one of only two dozen investigators on the project that is tapping resources from universities and companies around the world.’