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Phoenix Mars Lander Delivers Soil Sample To Microscope

Date:
June 22, 2008
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Saturday beamed back images showing that Phoenix's Robotic Arm successfully sprinkled soil onto the delivery port of the lander's Optical Microscope.

This photograph shows the Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander carrying a scoop of Martian soil bound for the spacecraft's microscope.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Saturday beamed back images showing that Phoenix’s Robotic Arm successfully sprinkled soil onto the delivery port of the lander's Optical Microscope.

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Mission scientists said enough of the fine-grained soil sample remains in the scoop of the lander's Robotic Arm for delivery to either the Wet Chemistry Lab or Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer. Both the Wet Chemistry Lab and the Optical Microscope are part of the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, instrument.

"We want to deliver similar soil samples to all three instruments," said Ray Arvidson, the mission's lead scientist for digging activities, from Washington University in St. Louis.

The lander's Robotic Arm has been commanded to remain in an "up" position to hold the collected soil in the scoop until it can be delivered to the other instruments.

The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, located in Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

For more about Phoenix, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix and http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Phoenix Mars Lander Delivers Soil Sample To Microscope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080622001716.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2008, June 22). Phoenix Mars Lander Delivers Soil Sample To Microscope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080622001716.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Phoenix Mars Lander Delivers Soil Sample To Microscope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080622001716.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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