Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Phoenix Mars Lander Continues Tests With Rasp

This image, taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on Monday, or the 49th Martian day of the mission, shows the silver-colored rasp protruding from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's robotic arm scoop. The scoop is inverted and the rasp is pointing up. Shown with its forks pointing toward the ground is the thermal and electrical conductivity probe, at the lower right. The Robotic Arm Camera is pointed toward the ground. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A and M University )
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jul 21, 2008
The team operating NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander plans to tell the lander to do a second, larger test of using a motorized rasp to produce and gather shavings of frozen ground.

The planned test is a preparation for putting a similar sample into one of Phoenix's laboratory ovens in coming days.

The instrument with the oven, the Thermal and Evolved- Gas Analyzer, called TEGA, will be used to check whether the hard layer exposed in a shallow trench is indeed rich in water ice, as scientists expect, and to identify some other ingredients in the frozen soil.

The rasp flings some of the shavings that it produces directly into an opening on the back of the scoop at the end of the lander's robotic arm. The test planned for Friday differs in several ways from the first test of the rasp on Mars, on Tuesday.

"First, we will scrape the terrain before rasping, to expose fresh terrain for sampling," said Richard Volpe of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located in Pasadena, Calif., an engineer for the Phoenix robotic arm team.

"Second, we will rasp four times in a row, twice the amount previously. Third, the scoop blade will be run across the rasp holes to pick up as much of the tailings as possible."

The test area is in the bottom of a trench about 5 centimeters (2 inches) deep, informally named "Snow White," which is also the planned site for acquiring an icy sample for the TEGA instrument.

The team wants to be sure to be able to collect and deliver the sample quickly, and early in the Martian morning, in order to minimize the amount of ice lost to vaporization before the material is sealed into the oven.

Friday's plans include using the Robotic Arm Camera to check repeatedly for any changes in the collected sample during the seven hours after getting it into the scoop.

The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of The University of Arizona with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, located in Denver.

International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Phoenix at LPL
Phoenix at NASA
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Phoenix Mars Lander Delivers A 3D View Of Its Surrounds
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 18, 2008
NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission has released stereo images of the Martian surface near the Phoenix lander.

  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space

  • Online Casino Reports Bets On Lunar Gambling
  • Brown-Led Team Finds Evidence Of Water In Lunar Interior
  • China Almost Done With Map Of Moon Surface
  • Looking For Early Earth...On The Moon

  • UCF Project Selected For NASA Explorer Mission
  • UK Space Competition Unearths Young Talent
  • House Passes S And T Bills Commemorating NASA's 50th Anniversary, First Woman In Space
  • Magellan Aerospace Wins Lockheed Martin Orion Contract

  • Makemake -- or Easter bunny -- enters book of space names
  • 30 Years Since Charon Reveals Pluto To Be A Binary Planet System
  • The Great Planet Debate: Dwarf Planets Are Planets Too
  • Stripped of planet status, Pluto saves face

  • The Little Red Spot Of Jupiter Has Lots Of Winds Blowing
  • New Red Spot Appears On Jupiter
  • Wandering Poles Leave Giant Scars On Europa's Icy Surface
  • Scientists Find Rings Of Jupiter Are Shaped In Shadow

  • Closing In On Venus
  • Venus Express To Fly Closer To Venus
  • New Details On Venusian Clouds Revealed
  • Venus Express Provides First Detection Of Hydroxyl In Atmosphere Of Venus

  • Cassini To Formally Complete Primary Saturn Mission
  • Ocean On Enceladus May Be Short-Lived
  • Cassini Sees Collisions Of Moonlets Into Saturn F Ring
  • DLR Scientists Produce An Atlas Of Saturn's Moon Dione

  • Advertisers' dream as Japanese display identifies customers
  • Virtual World Is Sign Of Future For Scientists And Engineers
  • Satellite Users Group Opposes UTC Request
  • EchoStar XI Satellite Deploys Solar Arrays On Schedule

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement