Phoenix lander heads for Mars
More recently in 2002, a special detector on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter indicated that there are large amounts of subsurface water ice in the northern arctic plain. The Phoenix lander will target this region, and use a robotic arm to dig through the top soil layer to the water ice below in order to bring soil and water ice samples back to the lander platform for more detailed investigation.
The water map (above left) shows the regions that were found to have higher levels of water ice below the surface, and the globe (above right) marks the intended landing site (area D) for the Phoenix lander when it arrives next summer. The red regions of the globe show mountainous regions on Mars, whilst the blue regions are flatter plains.