The U.S. space agency, NASA, is preparing to put a long-armed lander on the icy north pole of Mars to search for water and possible signs of life.
Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars project said Thursday they plan to launch the $386 million spacecraft in August 2007 and land 10 months later.
The probe will use its long robotic arm to dig into the ice and terrain to gather soil samples near the arctic surface.
Scientists say ice is interesting because if there is any life on Mars, it is most likely to be found near water.
An earlier mission called Mars Odyssey first detected icy soil at the north pole of Mars in 2002.
Some information for this report provided by AP.