Martian ice melts in this combination photo taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on June 15 and 18, 2008, in this handout image released by NASA June 20, 2008. A trench dug by Phoenix with its robotic arm at the arctic circle of Mars shows dice-sized chunks of white material that are seen to melt away over the course of several days. The presence of water on Mars is crucial because it is a key to the question of whether life, even in the form of mere microbes, exists or has ever existed on Mars. On Earth, water is a necessary ingredient for life.
A NASA handout image shows the Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander with a sample of martian soil. A NASA statement said that analysis of images from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has scientists increasingly convinced of ice near the Red Planet's North Pole.
This June 16, 2008 NASA handout image shows one trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" after two digs by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. Scientists in charge of the Phoenix Mars lander are more convinced there is ice near the Martian North pole as they review new images from the Red Planet.