Dear Xiaoyu Guo,
Thank you for participating in The Planetary Society’s Messages from Earth project!
The spacecraft has just successfully been flown to Cape Canaveral, and now will begin final testing and preparation for launch. Phoenix will arrive and land in the northern near-polar regions in late May or early June 2008 (exact date dependent upon launch date). We’ll keep you updated on the mission as it progresses towards launch, and of course, update you on its launch and landing.
Director of Project
The Planetary Society
In addition to the names, the disc also contains Visions of Mars, a collection of literature and art about the Red Planet. The names and Visions of Mars were written to the silica mini-DVD by the company Plasmon OMS using a special technique. The resulting archival disk should last at least hundreds of years on the Martian surface, ready to be picked up by future explorers.
After the disc was written, a special label was applied to the disc to identify it for future explorers. Then, the whole assembly was "baked out" (to kill microbes and also to reduce future outgassing of the materials), and Lockheed Martin in Colorado installed it onto the spacecraft.
After installation, the spacecraft underwent further testing and assembly, was shipped to Cape Canaveral, and is now being prepared for its August launch to Mars. Phoenix will arrive and land in the northern near-polar regions on Mars in late May or early June 2008 (exact date depends on actual launch date).