Phoenix Brings New Sample to Wet Chemistry Lab

Article written: 8 Jul , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

The Phoenix Mars Lander used its robotic arm to deliver a second sample of soil for analysis by the spacecraft’s wet chemistry laboratory. Data received from Phoenix on Sunday night confirmed the soil was in the lab’s cell number 1. This image taken by the the lander’s Surface Stereo Imager shows the Robotic Arm scoop positioned over the Wet Chemistry Lab Cell 1 delivery funnel on Sol 41, or July 6. Test results will be compared in coming days to the results from the first Martian soil analyzed by the wet chemistry laboratory two weeks ago. That laboratory is part of Phoenix’s Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer.



On Monday, Phoenix also tested a method for scraping up a sample of icy material and getting it into the scoop at the end of the robotic arm. Photography before, during and after the process will allow evaluation of this method. If the test goes well, the science team plans to use this method for gathering the next sample to be delivered to Phoenix’s bake-and-sniff instrument, the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA). The science team wants to be as precise and quick as possible in delivering the next sample to TEGA, as it possibly could be the last time the ovens can be used because of a short circuit that may occur the next time the oven is activated.

News Source: U of Arizona


8 Responses

  1. byron says

    They should have done some post lab work.. you know, instead of dumping out waste material see if they could make bricks/ceramics or other needed resources out of the planets abundant dirt/soil/resources

  2. Sci-Fi-Si says

    Are you honestly suggesting that Phoenix should start baking bricks and start building real estate? A nice house with a swimming pool perhaps. Maybe a golf course, so when the first explorers from Earth arrive they’ll have 18 holes to play with: A heated swimming pool perhaps – maybe a sauna to ward off those oh so chilly Martian nights?

    Maybe Phoenix should be programmed with pottery classes – wouldn’t want those wasteful NASA people just dumping soil anywhere.

  3. Sci-Fi-Si says

    What hapend to Phoenix? I don’t know, but we’ve gog some lovely cups and dishes here…

  4. Sci-Fi-Si says

    sorry about that ‘gog’ = ‘got’ (for those of you who couldn’t work that out for yourselves)

    Anyone for tea?

  5. Michael E. says

    That is the funniest, funniest thing I’ve ever read!

    Good one Sci-fi-Si

    Thanks to Nancy for the article keep up the good work.

  6. Member
    Jon says

    I hope the next thing this bot pops from the soil is a skull of some nature.

  7. Kootstar says

    Oh, what a terrible place to be making such jokes about such needed instruments! What do you do if the oven quits working? How do you cook that lovely roast you just “dug” out of the Mars freezer? Besides, I’m hungry already for a dinner of great news and plenty of water to wash it all down!

  8. neoguru says

    I would very much like to see the actual analysis, particularly the percentage water. Certainly the observation that an apparent ice chunk didn’t sublime as quickly as it should is not the only evidence for water, is it? I’ve read that an exposed sample will “dry out” before the analysis. If this is so, the “top soil” should be well dissicated and no water should be left in ther first place. Has NASA released any analytical data yet?

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