While the Russians are off on a legally meaningless flag planting mission via submarine to the North Pole, America will plant its flag via interplanetary spacecraft on the north pole of Mars. The Phoenix Lander will look for water and signs of life. Liftoff is scheduled for 2:26am PDT, 08.04.07. Phoenix will land on Mars 05.25.08, nine months after launch; a good gestation period for a robot looking for signs of life. Good luck to JPL Los Angeles, NASA, and the University of Arizona Tucson: the organizations involved in managing the mission.