This image taken by the Robotic Arm Camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) near the Martian surface on Sol 43, the 43rd Martian day after landing (July 8, 2008).
TECP consists of four 1.5 centimeter (.6 inches) electronic needles that are attached as a fork at the end of the "knuckle" of Phoenix's Robotic Arm. TECP is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) and will measure soil temperature and electrical conductivity.
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