1 Aug 2008

Phoenix mission finds water on Mars

6:07 pm on 1 August 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars space mission has confirmed that water exists on Mars.

The space craft has found ice amidst dirt samples in a small trench.

The craft last month identified evidence of water ice. Latest data now shows water inside dirt samples.

A NASA scientist, William Boynton, says this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted.

Phoenix also earlier identified minerals necessary for life in soil samples.

Phoenix landed on Mars on 25 May. NASA is now spending an extra $US2 million to extend the three-months mission by a few extra weeks.

Chief scientist Michael Meyer said Phoenix will dig and examine two more trenches.