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NASA's Mars mission ends as probe contact is lost

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NASA's Mars mission ends as probe contact is lost

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It is all over! NASA’s Phoenix lander has lost contact with Earth, effectively ending its more than five-month mission on Mars.

The robotic probe lasted longer than predicted. But, after returning over 25,000 pictures, the onset of Martian winter has taken its toll. NASA said the decline in sunlight means there is not enough power to charge batteries operating Phoenix’s instruments.

The probe famously found that Martian dust chemically resembled seawater on Earth – adding to evidence that liquid water, capable perhaps of sustaining life, once flowed on the Red Planet’s surface.