After the NASA Mars Phoenix lander stopped transmitting, scientists took a look with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The image showed that the solar panels on the lander had severe ice damage, which likely led to the end of the mission. Phoenix far exceeded its mission lifetime and was not designed to last the Martian winter, but NASA tried hailing the lander across more than 200 flights by the Mars Odyssey orbiter, which relayed communications from Phoenix. "Although its work is finished, analysis of information from Phoenix's science activities will continue for some time to come," said Fuk Li, manager of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a 2010 statement.
Image: The Phoenix Mars lander is shown in 2008 while still healthy (top) and in 2010 after severe ice damage was found on its solar panels. Both images were obtained by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona