New Pics Boost Feelings Mars Lander Has Bared Ice

PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix lander may not have far to go to find
Martian ice.

Scientists think the vehicle kicked up dirt as it landed, revealing a large patch of ice just below the surface. Team members say new photos of the ground suggest the robot is sitting right on top of it.

The mission's goal is to dig up ice and test it for organic compounds that are the building blocks of life.

The robot arm is expected to start digging into Mars after a few more days of testing. The final proof that the material is in fact ice could take weeks.

A short-circuit discovered yesterday in one of the measuring devices is still being worked on.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-31-08 1809EDT