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Photo Essay: JPL Makes it to Mars

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Early Sunday evening, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena did it. In a "picture perfect" landing, the Phoenix Mars Lander made it to the northern plains of Mars in the latest of attempts to explore and understand the red planet. This specific mission is to look for signs of habitability, whether present or past (see LAist's previous entry from the day of).

There was lots of drama to get this mission right, especially since NASA was coming off a failure. Now that the mission is working out, "how does this move us forward to putting humans on mars?" a reporter asked at a press conference. JPL managers said it will depend on economics, but technologically, it could be 20 years from now. For that we all can hope.

To understand more about the Phoenix Mars Lander, JPL has done an amazing job keeping their website updated with easy to understand information (they were nominated this year for a Webby Award) and using Twitter to answer questions from the public (the tone is in first person, it's like the Phoenix Mars Lander is talking to you). Photos from Sunday at JPL by Tom Andrews/LAist are below: