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Latest Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer Stories

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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...

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...

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2008-06-04 09:33:25

Engineers and scientists operating NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander decided early yesterday to repeat a practice of releasing Martian soil from the scoop on the lander's Robotic Arm.When the lander collected and released its first scoopful of soil on Sunday, some of the sample stuck to the scoop. The team told Phoenix this morning to lift another surface sample and release it, with more extensive imaging of the steps in the process."We are proceeding cautiously," said Phoenix Principal Investigator...

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2008-05-30 16:25:00

TUCSON, Ariz.-- Scientists have discovered what may be ice that was exposed when soil was blown away as NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars last Sunday, May 25. The possible ice appears in an image the robotic arm camera took underneath the lander, near a footpad. "We could very well be seeing rock, or we could be seeing exposed ice in the retrorocket blast zone," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., co-investigator for the robotic arm. "We'll test the two ideas...

2008-05-22 04:20:00

The Story The phoenix, a fabulous mythical bird the size of an eagle, symbolizes rebirth in many ancient cultures. According to the ancient Greeks, the bird lives in Arabia, nearby a cool well and sings a beautiful morning song. The phoenix lives 500 years or longer with only one phoenix existing at a time. When the bird's death approaches, it bursts into flames, and a new bird springs from the consumed pyre. Similar to its namesake, the Phoenix Mission "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft...

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2008-05-22 03:40:00

Development The Phoenix Mars Lander is currently undergoing final testing and assembly in preparation for its August 2007 launch. Spacecraft assembly is occurring at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. Integrating all the subsystems (e.g., thermal, electrical, mechanical, and communications) onto the lander's structure is the first step in the assembly process. Science instruments are then installed onto the lander deck and electrically integrated to the spacecraft. Software...

2008-05-21 08:15:00

Overview Mars is a cold desert planet with no liquid water on its surface. But in the Martian arctic, water ice lurks just below ground level. Discoveries made by the Mars Odyssey Orbiter in 2002 show large amounts of subsurface water ice in the northern arctic plain. The Phoenix lander targets this circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below and ultimately, to bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for sophisticated...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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