More Soil Delivered to Phoenix Lander Lab

Sep 17, 2008
More Soil Delivered to Phoenix Lander Lab
This image, taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager, documents the delivery of a soil sample from the "Snow White" trench to the Wet Chemistry Laboratory. A small pile of soil is visible on the lower edge of the second cell from the top. This deck-mounted lab is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The delivery was made on Sept. 12, 2008, which was Sol 107 (the 107th Martian day) of the mission, which landed on May 25, 2008. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University)

Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars Mission are analyzing soil delivered to the spacecraft's Wet Chemistry Laboratory.

Preliminary analysis of this soil confirms that it is alkaline, and composed of salts and other chemicals such as perchlorate, sodium, magnesium, chloride and potassium.

This information validates prior results from that same location, said Michael Hecht of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the lead scientist for the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA.

The Wet Chemistry Laboratory mixes Martian soil with an aqueous solution from Earth as part of a process to identify soluble nutrients and other chemicals in the soil.

In the coming days, the Phoenix team will also fill the final four of eight single-use ovens on another soil-analysis instrument, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. The team's strategy is to deliver as many samples as possible before the power produced by Phoenix's solar panels declines due to the end of the Martian summer.

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.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives at space station

Related Stories

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

26 minutes ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

China's struggle for water security

16 minutes ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Recommended for you

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

18 hours ago

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Modernmystic
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 17, 2008
And?
holmstar
1 / 5 (1) Sep 18, 2008
And now we know more about martian soil than we did before. Its science... this is a science news site.
Modernmystic
not rated yet Sep 18, 2008
And now we know more about martian soil than we did before. Its science... this is a science news site.


Actually we already knew what the results would be. That information is in the article.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.