The debate about what created the “canals” on Mars and whether it had polar caps like Earth’s has gone on for a while now and no new evidence has been found even with the various missions conducted thus far. We’re finally making some progress collecting data samples in Martian soil now over the past 10 years, and the latest mission with the Phoenix craft will hopefully move us closer to an answer.
The San Francisco Chronicle has a good chronology of the history of the Martian missions in an article by David Perlman. It covers a bit of detail as to what’s different about this mission and its risks. Given the recent history of Mars robotic crafts, I worry about the landing, but I have faith in NASA.
So soon we may know – did Mars have water? ice? snow? If so, did Santa go there? Is he an alien? Are elves from Mars?