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Latest Martian soil Stories

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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...

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...

599b72ca89eb68b012c76f4c83d721ef1
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...

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2008-08-11 12:05:00

Vibration of the screen above a laboratory oven on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on Saturday succeeded in getting enough soil into the oven to begin analysis. Commands were sent for the lander's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer to begin analysis Sunday of the soil sample from a trench called "Rosy Red." NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has continued studies of its landing site by widening a trench, making overnight measurements of conductivity in the Martian soil and depositing a sample of surface...

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...

253e87958d111085bd57584367dd6b5c1
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...

2008-08-01 09:00:08

By ALICIA CHANG By Alicia Chang The Associated Press LOS ANGELES The Phoenix spacecraft has tasted Martian water for the first time, scientists reported Thursday. By melting icy soil in one of its lab instruments, the robot confirmed the presence of frozen water lurking below the Martian permafrost. Until now, evidence of ice in Mars' north pole region has been largely circumstantial. In 2002, the orbiting Odyssey spacecraft spied what looked like a reservoir of buried ice. After...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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