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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:38 EDT

Phoenix Delivers Soil-Chemistry Sample

July 9, 2008

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander used its Robotic Arm to deliver a second sample of soil for analysis by the spacecraft’s wet chemistry laboratory, data received from Phoenix on Sunday night confirmed.

Results from testing this sample will be compared in coming days to the results from the first Martian soil analyzed by the wet chemistry laboratory two weeks ago. That laboratory is part of Phoenix’s Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer.

The main activity on the lander’s schedule for today is testing a method for scraping up a sample of icy material and getting it into the scoop at the end of the Robotic Arm. Photography before, during and after the process will allow evaluation of this method. If the test goes well, the science team plans to use this method for gathering the next sample to be delivered to Phoenix’s bake-and-sniff instrument, the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer.

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.

Image Caption: This image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander’s Robotic Arm scoop positioned over the Wet Chemistry Lab Cell 1 delivery funnel on Sol 41, the 42nd Martian day after landing, or July 6, 2008, after a soil sample was delivered to the instrument.

The instrument’s Cell 1 is second one from the foreground of the image. The first cell, Cell 0, received a soil sample two weeks earlier.

This image has been enhanced to brighten the scene.