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Science Briefing

Phoenix Mars mission extended

September 20, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

NASA is extending the Phoenix Mars mission again.

The three-legged spacecraft has been digging trenches near the Martian north pole since landing on May 25, and its work was supposed to end this month. But NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown said Thursday that the space agency would invest about $6 million to keep the $422-million mission going through December.

It's the second extension -- and possibly the last, because the lander may not survive the upcoming Martian winter.

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