The Phoenix probe sent home photos today of what looks like ice just under Mars' rocky surface, Space.com reports. "The thrusters have excavated two to six inches and, sure enough, we see something that looks like ice,” one mission scientist said. NASA picked the landing spot, in the planet's northern arctic, because it likely hid ice under a thin layer of soil.
At issue is whether primitive life may have once existed on Mars. Phoenix will continue its 3-month, $422-million search for ice with its robotic digging arm, chemistry lab, and onboard ovens.