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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 10:49 EDT

How Phoenix Looks Under Itself

June 5, 2008

This is an animation of NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander reaching with its Robotic Arm and taking a picture of the surface underneath the lander. The image at the conclusion of the animation was taken by Phoenix’s Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the eighth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 8 (June 2, 2008). The light feature in the middle of the image below the leg is informally called “Holy Cow.” The dust, shown in the dark foreground, has been blown off of “Holy Cow” by Phoenix’s thruster engines.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute/SSV