Click on image for animation
This is an animation of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander reaching with its Robotic Arm and taking a picture of the surface underneath the lander. The image at the conclusion of the animation was taken by Phoenix's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the eighth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 8 (June 2, 2008). The light feature in the middle of the image below the leg is informally called "Holy Cow." The dust, shown in the dark foreground, has been blown off of "Holy Cow" by Phoenix's thruster engines.
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.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.