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Latest Mare Boreum quadrangle Stories

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...

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2008-06-13 18:10:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- New observations from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander provide the most magnified view ever seen of Martian soil, showing particles clumping together even at the smallest visible scale. In the past two days, two instruments on the lander deck -- a microscope and a bake-and-sniff analyzer -- have begun inspecting soil samples delivered by the scoop on Phoenix's Robotic Arm. "This is the first time since the Viking missions three decades ago that a sample is being studied inside an...

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2008-06-13 00:05:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander sprinkled a spoonful of Martian soil Wednesday onto the sample wheel of the spacecraft's robotic microscope station, images received early Thursday confirmed. "It looks like a light dusting and that's just what we wanted. The Robotic Arm team did a great job," said Michael Hecht of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. He is the lead scientist for the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) instrument on Phoenix....

2008-06-09 22:25:32

Scientists ran into a snag when trying to deliver a sample of Martian arctic soil to one of the instruments on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, mission controllers said on Saturday. The lander's robotic arm released a handful of clumpy Martian soil onto a screened opening of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) on Friday, but the instrument did not confirm that any of the sample passed through the screen. Images taken on Friday show soil resting on the screen over an open...

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2008-06-09 20:51:51

Engineers operating the Robotic Arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander are testing a revised method for delivering soil samples to laboratory instruments on Phoenix's deck now that researchers appreciate how clumpy the soil is at the landing site."We're a little surprised at how much this material is clumping together when we dig into it," said Doug Ming a Phoenix science team member from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston.The soil's physical properties are proving to be a challenge for getting...

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2008-06-08 19:00:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The arm of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander released a handful of clumpy Martian soil onto a screened opening of a laboratory instrument on the spacecraft Friday, but the instrument did not confirm that any of the sample passed through the screen. Engineers and scientists on the Phoenix team assembled at the University of Arizona are determining the best approach to get some of that material into the instrument. Meanwhile, the team has developed commands for the spacecraft to use...

2008-06-06 17:40:51

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander successfully scooped up a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm, mission scientists said on Friday. The scoop is poised and ready to deliver the sample to an instrument on the spacecraft that will analyze the soil. "This is really an important occasion for us, to be poised to make a measurement for the first time of the Martian arctic soil," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona. The $420...

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2008-06-06 10:00:00

NASA scientists said on Thursday that the Phoenix lander, in its search for signs of life on Mars, has returned the highest-resolution pictures ever taken of dust and sand on the surface of another planet.The $420-million craft touched down May 25 on the arctic circle of Mars after a 10-month, 420-million-mile (680-million-km) journey from Earth.An optical microscope took the pictures, revealing particles"”some as small as one-tenth the diameter of a human hair"”that were...

2008-06-05 07:40:08

NASA scientists delayed the Phoenix Mars Lander's sample gathering for one sol, or Martian day, they announced on Tuesday, in order to practice moving the craft's robotic arm and to deal with a slight glitch with one of the lander's instruments. The mission team performed an initial "dig and dump" with the lander's robotic arm scoop on Sunday, which Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith described as "sort of what a child does on the beach with their sand pail and shovel."...

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2008-06-04 17:50:00

Two practice rounds of digging and dumping the clumpy soil at the Martian arctic site this week gave scientists and engineers gathered at The University of Arizona confidence to begin using Phoenix's Robotic Arm to deliver soil samples to instruments on the lander deck. Those samples will not be collected before Thursday. Following Wednesday's briefing on the mission, the Phoenix team learned that NASA's Odyssey orbiter, which relays Phoenix data to and from Earth, had entered a "safe...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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