NASA logo and link JPL logo
JPL Home EARTH Stars and Galaxies Science and Technology
Caltech Logo
Email News RSS Podcast Video
Mission to Mars' north poloar region Phoenix Mars Lander
Mission overview

Soil on Phoenix
  › Larger image
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.
 Latest press images
3D images
Raw images
Latest videos
JPL Phoenix site
NASA Phoenix site
Univ. of Arizona Phoenix site

› Print this article
› Join e-mail list
Phoenix Lander Finishes Soil Delivery to Onboard Labs
October 21, 2008

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has finished scooping soil samples to deliver to its onboard laboratories, and is now preparing to analyze samples already obtained. Scientists are anxious to analyze the samples as the power Phoenix generates continues to drop. The amount of sunlight is waning on Mars' northern plains as late-summer turns to fall.

The spacecraft's robotic arm is digging into the lower portion of the "Upper Cupboard" and "Stone Soup" areas of the Phoenix worksite. Its Surface Stereoscopic Imager is taking photos of this trenching so scientists can better map out the geology of the Red Planet's ice table.

"We're basically trying to understand the depth and extent of the ice table to tie together how geology and climate control its formation," said Phoenix mission scientist Diana Blaney of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Later this week, Phoenix engineers and scientists will use the robotic arm to attempt to push a soil sample piled in a funnel on top of the lander's Wet Chemistry Laboratory into a cell for analysis. They will take images of soil captured in its Optical Microscope, as well as take digital-elevation models of a rock called "Sandman" with Phoenix's Robotic Arm Camera.

Phoenix has operated nearly five months on Mars since landing on May 25, 2008.

NASA's Phoenix mission is led by Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, with project management at JPL, and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; the Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Media contacts: Rhea Borja 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington


› News releases archives




Related Links
› NASA Phoenix site

› University of Arizona Phoenix site

› JPL on Facebook and Twitter

› Landing Press Kit (3Mb - PDF)

› Launch Press Kit (6.5Mb - PDF)

› Mission Fact Sheet (244Kb - PDF)

› NASA Mars Exploration site

› NASA/JPL Landing Blog

Other Missions at Mars
› Mars Exploration Rovers

› JPL's Rover News and Image

› Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

› Mars Odyssey

› Mars Express

   usa gov PRIVACY     |    FAQ     |     FEEDBACK Site Manager: Susan Watanabe
Webmasters: Tony Greicius, Martin Perez