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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.
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander successfully scooped up a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm, mission scientists said on Friday.
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...
Two practice rounds of digging and dumping the clumpy soil at the Martian arctic site this week gave scientists and engineers confidence to begin using Phoenix's Robotic Arm to deliver soil samples to instruments on the lander deck.
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.
Scientists have discovered what may be ice that was exposed when soil was blown away as NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars. The possible ice appears in an image the robotic arm camera took underneath the lander, near a footpad.
Similar to its namesake, the Phoenix Mission "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft and instruments from two previous unsuccessful attempts to explore Mars: the Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander.
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 codes that...
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...
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