This image, taken by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) of NASA's Phoenix Lander, shows Martian soil piled on top of the spacecraft's deck and some of its instruments. Visible in the upper-left portion of the image are several wet chemistry cells of the lander's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The instrument on the lower right of the image is the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer. The excess sample delivered to the MECA’s sample stage can be seen on the deck in the lower left portion of the image.
This image was taken on Martian day, or sol, 142, on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2008. Phoenix landed on Mars' northern plains on May 25, 2008.
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