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2008-08-25 18:40:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The next sample of Martian soil being grabbed for analysis is coming from a trench about three times deeper than any other trench NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has dug.On Tuesday, Aug. 26, the spacecraft will finish the 90 Martian days (or "sols") originally planned as its primary mission and will continue into a mission extension through September, as announced by NASA in July. Phoenix landed on May 25."As we near what we originally expected to be the full length of the...

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2008-08-21 19:25:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has scooped up a soil sample from an intermediate depth between the ground surface and a subsurface icy layer. The sample was delivered to a laboratory oven on the spacecraft. The robotic arm on Phoenix collected the sample, dubbed "Burning Coals," from a trench named "Burn Alive 3." The sample consisted of about one-fourth to one-half teaspoon of loose soil scooped from depth about 3 centimeters (1.2 inch) below the surface of the ground and about 1 centimeter (0.4...

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2008-08-21 09:43:49

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander scientists and engineers are continuing to dig into the area around the lander with the spacecraft's robotic arm, looking for new materials to analyze and examining the soil and ice subsurface structure. New trenches opened recently include the "Burn Alive 3" trench in the "Wonderland" digging area in the eastern portion of the arm's reachable workspace. Researchers choose such names informally to aid discussion. The team is excavating one side of Burn Alive 3 down...

2008-08-14 18:00:09

The U.S. space agency says its Phoenix Mars Lander has used an atomic force microscope to take the first-ever image of a single particle of Mars' dust. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists said the rounded particle has a diameter of about one micrometer, or one millionth of a meter, and is a speck of the dust that colors the Martian sky pink and its soil a distinctive red. "This is the first picture of a clay-sized particle on Mars, and the size agrees with predictions...

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2008-08-14 15:05:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has taken the first-ever image of a single particle of Mars' ubiquitous dust, using its atomic force microscope. The particle -- shown at higher magnification than anything ever seen from another world -- is a rounded particle about one micrometer, or one millionth of a meter, across. It is a speck of the dust that cloaks Mars. Such dust particles color the Martian sky pink, feed storms that regularly envelop the planet and produce Mars' distinctive red soil. "This...

2008-08-06 09:00:48

By Alicia Chang Associated Press LOS ANGELES -- Traces of a rocket fuel ingredient found in the Martian soil would not necessarily hinder potential life, mission scientists said Tuesday. NASA's Phoenix spacecraft earlier this month detected the chemical perchlorate, a highly oxidizing salt, in soil samples dug up from near the Martian surface. On Earth, it can be found naturally in the arid Atacama Desert in Chile where some extreme organisms use it as a source of energy. "We know that...

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2008-08-05 18:25:00

Phoenix Mars mission scientists spoke today on research in progress concerning an ongoing investigation of perchlorate salts detected in soil analyzed by the wet chemistry laboratory aboard NASA's Phoenix Lander. "Finding perchlorates is neither good nor bad for life, but it does make us reassess how we think about life on Mars," said Michael Hecht of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., lead scientist for the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA), the...

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2008-08-05 00:30:00

NASA's Phoenix Lander may have discovered the presence of perchlorate, a chemically reactive salt, in soil samples taken from the surface of Mars, NASA scientists said on Monday. If the finding is confirmed, it could add doubt to the theory of conditions on the planet being able to sustain life. The space agency will be working to determine whether the perchlorate came from the Martian soil or the spacecraft. Perchlorate is an oxidizing substance used in rocket fuel. It is known to be...

2008-08-04 18:00:47

To: TECHNOLOGY EDITORS Contact: Dwayne Brown, Headquarters, Washington, +1-202-358- 1726, dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov, or Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., +1-818-354-6278, guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov, both of NASA; or Sara Hammond of University of Arizona, Tucson, +1-520-626-1974, shammond@lpl.arizona.edu WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists are analyzing results from soil samples delivered several weeks ago to science instruments on NASA's Phoenix...

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2008-08-04 17:30:22

PASADENA, Calif. -- Scientists are analyzing results from soil samples delivered several weeks ago to science instruments on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander to understand the landing site's soil chemistry and mineralogy. Within the last month, two samples have been analyzed by the Wet Chemistry Lab of the spacecraft's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, suggesting one of the soil constituents may be perchlorate, a highly oxidizing substance. The Phoenix team has been...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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