We went to Mars yesterday.
Okay, only figuratively. But we did visit the Tucson facility from which the Phoenix Mars Lander program is being run (the name Phoenix refers to the mythological creature that rises from its own ashes, not the other Arizona city).
Every Wednesday they hold an open house where you can see the duplicate lander they have here on Earth. Before they can send a command to the lander on Mars, they have to test it here to make sure that a) the lander can do it, and b) they know the right way to tell it what to do. The entire mission is being run from Tucson, as opposed to previous missions run from places like Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It's the first time a public university has been able to run a space research mission like this, start to finish, and it was fascinating to see where they do it, as well as being shown some of the great pictures the lander has sent back and learning a bit about its findings (like, water ice on Mars).
Here are a few pictures from the facility. The mission is about half over (after years of planning, there's only about a 90-day window in which the sun is on the polar region they wanted to explore, and when it's gone, there's no more power to the big solar panels, so the lander goes bye-bye). It'll probably be covered by CO2 ice by next summer. And yes, it's cold on Mars--but as recently as the summer equinox it was colder in Antarctica than where the lander is near Mars's north pole. Be sure to check the website (linked above) for regular weather reports, new science and photos, etc., and if you're in Arizona over the next month or so, make an appointment and go check it out!
This is the duplicate lander, arranged in a setting as much as possible like that on Mars:
Here's a smaller model that the public can get closer to. Look how big the solar panels are compared to the rest of it.
Here's a diagram showing what everything is.