On this day in 2007, the Mars Phoenix lander was launched from a Delta II at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Phoenix flew to a site in the far northern plains of Mars where it analyzed components of the surface, subsurface, and atmosphere.
It used a trench digging arm and a set of analytical tools to study water believed to be frozen in the soil just below the surface. It also checked for the presence of organic compounds as part of an evaluation of whether the site had once been a favorable environment for microbial life.
On May 25, 2010, the Phoenix Mars Lander ended operations after repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful.