First successful Mars polar lander
(Vastitas Borealis)

NASA´s Phoenix spacecraft landed in the Vastitas Borealis, the great world-wrapping lowland plain in the northern polar region, on 25 May 2008. It entered the atmosphere after a nearly nine month journey at 21,000 kph, using a heat shield, then parachute and retro rockets to slow to just 8 kph for touchdown. Amongst its equipment was a robot arm that dug trenches in the surface and dropped the soil into analysers on the lander. Contact was lost with Phoenix on 2 November 2008.