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This sequence of four images was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on sols 5, 6, and 7--the fifth, sixth, and seventh days of the mission (May 30, 31, and June 1, 2008). The images show the so-called "Knave of Hearts" first-dig test area to the north of the lander. The trench shown is 3.3 inches (8.5 centimeters) wide.
The Robotic Arm's scraping blade left a small horizontal depression where it first touched the soil on Sol 6, seen in the second image. The third image shows a deeper hole where the Robotic Arm scooped up a a sample on Sol 7. The fourth step in the sequence adds color.
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/Texas A&M University