Latest Mare Boreum quadrangle Stories

2008-06-20 17:45:00

Scientists rejoiced on Friday after learning NASA's Phoenix Lander dug up underground ice on the plains surrounding the North Pole of Mars, but said they have more to accomplish before the summer ends. Using mini chemistry labs on the spacecraft, they hope to determine whether the frozen water excavated with the lander's robot arm, as well as nearby soil, contains the chemical building blocks of life. Peter Smith, the University of Arizona researcher who leads the Phoenix mission's science...

2008-06-20 09:00:16

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Scientists believe NASA's Phoenix Mars lander exposed bits of ice while digging in the soil of the Martian arctic in recent days. Principal investigator Peter Smith said Thursday that crumbs of bright material seen in the trench have since vanished. He says that means it must have been frozen water that vaporized after being exposed. Scientists had also considered whether the specks might be salt. Smith points out that salt wouldn't have vaporized. The lander is on a...

2008-06-19 21:00:00

Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it. "It must be ice," said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson. "These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it's ice. There had been some question...

2008-06-19 00:35:00

NASA engineers worked Wednesday to fix a glitch that caused the Phoenix lander to lose a day's worth of data during its mission near Mars' north pole. Engineers discovered the problem Tuesday evening when Phoenix sent a single piece of data 45,000 times. The Phoenix lander had been digging a trench inside a polygon-shaped surface feature, likely caused by seasonal changes and ice shrinkage. The spacecraft attempted to send back pictures of the trench, but the data overload stopped the...

2008-06-18 00:05:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander began digging in an area called "Wonderland" early Tuesday, taking its first scoop of soil from a polygonal surface feature within the "national park" region that mission scientists have been preserving for science. The lander's Robotic Arm created the new test trench called "Snow White" on June 17, the 22nd Martian day, or sol, after the Phoenix spacecraft landed on May 25. Newly planned science activities will resume no earlier than Sol 24 as engineers look into...

2008-06-17 12:00:00

2008 has turned out to be a great year for NASA _ one of the best in its 40-plus year history. And the last couple of weeks have been especially impressive. Let's take a look at what NASA has accomplished. One of the most amazing feats was the successful touchdown of the Mars Phoenix Lander near the north pole of Mars. This is the first soft landing on Mars in 30 years. When the spacecraft turned on its cameras and gave us our first look, the setting appeared absolutely desolate. But the...

2008-06-17 00:20:00

Scientists are trying to determine whether the Phoenix lander has found ice or salt on Mars. It's been three weeks since Phoenix touched ground on Mars' north pole region with the mission of finding more clues as to whether or not the planet could be habitable. Equipped with a backhoe-like robotic arm, Phoenix has turned up specks of what appears to be white material amongst the red dirt. Photos show that the white matter is only present in the top part of the trench. Over the weekend,...

2008-06-16 21:25:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- One of the ovens on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander continued baking its first sample of Martian soil over the weekend, while the Robotic Arm dug deeper into the soil to learn more about white material first revealed on June 3. "The oven is working very well and living up to our expectations," said Phoenix co-investigator Bill Boynton of the University of Arizona, Tucson. Boynton leads the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA), or oven instrument, for Phoenix. Phoenix has...

2008-06-16 08:52:12

A low-power microchip developed at the University of Michigan uses 30,000 times less power in sleep mode and 10 times less in active mode than comparable chips now on the market.The Phoenix Processor, which sets a low-power record, is intended for use in cutting-edge sensor-based devices such as medical implants, environment monitors or surveillance equipment.The chip consumes just 30 picowatts during sleep mode. A picowatt is one-trillionth of a watt. Theoretically, the energy stored in a...

2008-06-14 09:00:00

NASA's Phoenix probe scraped the frigid Martian ground with its robotic arm on Friday and revealed what looks like a layer of ice or perhaps bright salt just beneath the red soil. The lander also sent back its first microscopic pictures gathered from a scoopful of Martian soil, showing a mix of tiny red particles, minerals and glassy volcanic sand. The findings suggest that Phoenix has landed in a good place to carry out its scientific mission of detailing the history of water and...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'