[NOTE: This article has nothing to with the Phoenix Framework for software optimization. I just want to recognize the brilliant men and women in our world space program.]
I'd like to think I've been an amateur astronomer for years, but if you really luck up the term, I'm not nearly as good as that. I do enjoy watching all the transmissions we get back from our space probes and planetary mission and like to attend PlanetFest put on by the Planetary Society whenever they have them.
Over this past Memorial Day weekend here in the US (or over the bank holiday in the UK), the Phoenix Mars Lander set down near Mars' north pole region to take soil samples and look for traces of water (that's what my limited mind can comprehend of its mission).
There's a really good Wikipedia article on Phoenix spacecraft.
What would really be cool would be to see these photos eventually incorporated in the Microsoft Research Worldwide Telescope. That would be sweet!
To all the folks in the space programs of the world...Excelsior!