This view from the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the trench informally named "Snow White." This image was taken after a series of scrapings by the lander's Robotic Arm on the 58th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (July 23, 2008). The scrapings were done in preparation for collecting a sample for analysis from a hard subsurface layer where soil may contain frozen water.
The trench is 4 to 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) deep, about 23 centimeters (9 inches) wide and about 60 centimeters (24 inches) long.
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.