[meteorite-list] More Soil Delivered to Phoenix Lab

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 12:20:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200809171920.MAA02142_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


More Soil Delivered to Phoenix Lab
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
September 16, 2008

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.

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. 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 data
validates prior results from that same location, said JPL's Michael
Hecht, the lead scientist for MECA.

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.

Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University
Received on Wed 17 Sep 2008 03:20:32 PM PDT

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