This view shows scattered rocks and a polygonal ground texture within the "sweet spot" of the planned landing area for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.
This is a subframe, covering a patch of ground about 250 meters (820 feet) across, from a larger image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 1, 2007. The full image, catalogued as HiRISE image PSP_002170_2485, is centered at latitude 68.3 degrees north latitude, 232.9 degrees east longitude.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp., Boulder, Colo.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.