The static Spacecraft,Which was sent to study the planents " high arctic" lost contact with the earthin late 2008.Phoenix would have been covered by corbondi oxide ice, and Nasa always said it was likely the mission would be destroyed in such harsh condition.
The latest pictures taken from orbit show phenix to have a smaller outline, indicating it was badly damaged. "Before and after images are dramatically different" said Micheal mallen of the university of colorado in Boulder, a science team member for both phoenix and the Hirise camera on the Mars recoonnaissance orbiter which aquired the data.The Lander looks smaller, and only amportion of a difference can be explained by accumilation of dust on the lander , which makes it surfacess less distinquisable from surrounding ground.
The differnces in the pattern of shadows is said to be consistent with the prediction of how phoenix could be damaged by the buid up of frost.
It was expected the panels would bend and bucle under the weight of many tens of kilos of ice.Launche from earth in August 2007, the robot arrived arrived on Mars on 25 May 2008, landing further north than any previous mission to the martian surface.
To make it down, the probe have to survive a fiery plunge through the red planets thin admosphere , releasing a parachute and using a thrusters to controle it descent.
During it ground operation ,the Robot dug, scooped, baked, snuffed and tasted the martian soil to test whether it has ever been capable of supportinf life.
Phoenix major achieven\ment was in becoming the first mission to mars to 'touch water' in the form of water ice it found just centemeter below the top soil.Chunks of icewere seen tovapourise before the lander's camera.