Monday, June 02, 2008
PHOENIX SCOOPS MARS
Phoenix has landed on Mars and begun to scoop the Martian soil, to test for possible water ice and organic material under the surface.
Here are some pictures from Mars, from NASA.
This image captured by the Robotic Arm Camera aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on Sol 6, the sixth Martian day of the mission, (May 31, 2008) shows a close-up of the "Snow Queen" feature under the lander.
Swept clear of surface dust by the thruster rockets as Phoenix landed, the area has a smooth surface with layers visible and several smooth, rounded cavities.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute
This image from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) shows material from the Martian surface captured by the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop during its first test dig and dump on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008). The test sample shown was taken from the digging area informally known as "Knave of Hearts."
Scientists speculate that the white patches on the right side of the image could possibly be ice or salts that precipitated into the soil. Scientists also speculate that this white material is probably the same material seen in previous images from under the lander in which an upper surface of an ice table was observed. The color for this image was acquired by illuminating the RA scoop with a set of red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute
Here's a picture, (2008-05-26) of the Phoenix Lander parachuting down to Mars, in this image captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.