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The team that developed and operated NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission will receive the 2009 John L. "Jack" Swigert Award for Space Exploration from the Space Foundation.
During five months of operations at a Martian arctic site after landing on May 25, 2008, the Phoenix spacecraft confirmed the presence of frozen water just below the surface, identified potential nutrients and other substances in the soil, and observed snow in the atmosphere.
The Space Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., announced Feb. 19 [link from "announced Feb. 19" to http://www.spacefoundation.org/news/story.php?id=658] that it will present the award to the Phoenix team on March 30, during the foundation's 25th National Space Symposium, in Colorado Springs.
The annual award honors the memory and legacy of Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert.
The Phoenix team is a collaboration of several organizations. Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, is supported by an international team of science co-investigators. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provided project management, mission management, and technical collaboration with the science and spacecraft teams. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, provided spacecraft development, assembly and testing, and flight-system mission operations support. International contributions have been provided by the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; the Max Planck Institute, Germany, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
For more information, visit http://uanews.org/node/24158 .