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Latest Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer Stories

2008-06-25 18:30:00

TUCSON, Ariz. -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander placed a sample of Martian soil in the spacecraft's wet chemistry laboratory today for the first time. Results from that instrument, part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, are expected to provide the first measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the planet's soil. The analysis of this and other soil samples will help researchers determine whether ice beneath the soil ever has melted, and whether the soil has...

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2008-06-22 00:05:00

The year 2008 has turned out to be a great year for NASA -- one of the best in its 40-plus year history. And the past 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 desolate. But the...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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....

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2008-06-11 13:15:00

TUCSON, Ariz. - NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has filled its first oven with Martian soil. "We have an oven full," Phoenix co-investigator Bill Boynton of the University of Arizona, Tucson, said today. "It took 10 seconds to fill the oven. The ground moved." Boynton leads the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer instrument, or TEGA, for Phoenix. The instrument has eight separate tiny ovens to bake and sniff the soil to assess its volatile ingredients, such as water. The lander's Robotic Arm...

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...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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