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Mars Phoenix
The Phoenix Lander lowers itself onto Mars using a set of powerful thrusters. No airbags for this tricky touch down on the red planet. Image Credit: JPL/Corby Waste
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An artist rendition of Phoenix's robotic arm delivering a sample to the science instruments. Image Credit: NASA / UA / JPL.
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Components of the Phoenix Mars lander dot the cleanroom floor at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver. Image Credit: SPACE.com
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SSI instrument engineer Robert Reynolds, PIT Manager Rick McCloskey, UA Lunar and Planetary Lab staff technician Carroll Oquest and PIT engineer Lori Harrison temporarily install an engineering model of the Phoenix Mission SSI camera, the Surface Stereo Imager, on a mock lander at the Phoenix Science Operations Center. (Photo: NASA/University of Arizona Space Imagery Center)
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Phoenix lander Credit: Decagon Devices, Inc.
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mars phoenix model. Credit: University of Arizona
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Phoenix team member Carol Stoker of NASA's Ames Research Center
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NASA's Phoenix lander is scheduled to launch in 2007 and will use its
robotic arm to dig down over 3 feet into the red planet's subsurface to
collect ice and soil samples. A prototype of the lander is shown here
undergoing robotic arm control tests at a site in Death Valley.
Credit: NASA
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Tabatha Heet shows Ray Arvidson a potential landing site for the Phoenix mission to
Mars.

Credit: Washington University in St. Louis
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The robotic arm of NASA´ Phoenix lander, which will dig below the martian surface, will require sterilization. credit: NASA/JPL/ UA/Lockheed Martin
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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
Florida, a clean room technician takes a measurement on the Phoenix spacecraft.
Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflet
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The Phoenix spacecraft launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Delta II rocket. Image credit: NASA
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The planned landing site for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander lies at a latitude on Mars equivalent to northern Alaska on Earth. It is within the region designated "D" on this global image. Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech / Washington Univ. St. Louis/Univ. of Arizona
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The Phoenix Mars Lander, partway through assembly and testing at Lockheed Martin
Space Systems in September 2006.
Credit: NASA/ JPL/ UA/Lockheed Martin
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This artist´ rendition shows the Phoenix lander digging below the surface in the frozen northern plains of Mars. Credit: Corby Waste/JPL
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This image, captured by the MRO spacecraft's HIRISE camera on Feb 9, 2008, shows a portion of the landing ellipse for the Phoenix lander. The bright surfaces in this image are covered with seasonal carbon dioxide frost (dry ice snow). During the winter, the entire surface was covered with a blanket of carbon dioxide frost about a foot deep. Now the frost is slowly sublimating away (changing directly from ice to gas) revealing small hexagonal and polygonal patterns a few meters (yards) in size in the darker soil beneath the surface. The polygonal patterns on the surface are commonly referred to as "patterned ground" and are often found in high latitude and high alpine environments on Earth. The patterns are the result of annual thermal contraction in ice-cemented soil or permafrost that forms a honeycomb network of small fractures below the surface. This network of fractures is eventually manifested as small shallow troughs at the surface forming the hexagonal and polygonal patterns visible in this image. Bright carbon dioxide frost still fills the shallow troughs accentuating these patterns. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.
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Possible landing ellipses for the Mars Phoenix lander. The Heimdall crater appears to have fewer boulders than other areas. The geomorphic mapping is overlaid on a shaded relief map based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. The red box indicates the location of an image RA4-CTX from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/Washington Univ. St. Louis/JHU APL/Univ. of Arizona.
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Image RA4-CTX from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Area within red box on previous landing site graphic). Image Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS.

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Phoenix will land in the far northern polar region of Mars. Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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An artist´ rendition of the Phoenix lander collecting a sample from the martian surface. Credit: Corby Waste/UA/NASA/JPL
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Technicians prepare the Phoenix lander for environmental testing. Credit: NASA/JPL/ UA/Lockheed Martin
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This image shows one of the two Phoenix solar arrays fully deployed. Had the solar arrays failed to open, Phoenix would have been unable to conduct scientific experiments. Credit: NASA/J PL-Caltech/ University of Arizona
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An approximate-color, close-up image of the ground near the Phoenix landing site shows the characteristic patterned polygonal terrain that scientists expected to find there. Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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Phoenix team members celebrate Phoenix´ successful landing on Mars. Credit: NASA
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MRO HiRISE photo of the terrain near the Mars Phoenix landing site. Credit: NASA JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
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The HiRISE camera onboard NASA´ Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of Phoenix, suspended beneath its parachute, as it descended through the martian atmosphere. credit NASA/JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
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A full-scale model of the Phoenix lander, on view at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. Photo credit: Henry Bortman.
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As Phoenix descended through the martian atmosphere, it passed by the 10-kilometer-wide (6-mile-wide) Heimdall crater. This image was captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
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These images of the Phoenix lander, parachute and heat shield were captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona.
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This image shows a polar projection mosaic of all data received as of the end of sol 2 from the right eye of the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) instrument on board the Phoenix lander. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University
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This approximate color (red, green, and blue filters: 600, 530, and 480 nanometers) view was obtained on sol 2 by the Surface Stereo Imager on board the Phoenix lander. The view is toward the northwest, showing polygonal terrain near the lander and out to the horizon. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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This panoramic view taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the sweeping plains of the martian polar north. Credit:NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona.
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Fish eye view of horizon and lander. North is up (12 o'clock position) in this seam-corrected 360 degree polar projection using down-sampled images from sols 1 and 3. Credit:NASA/ JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.
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scale of Phoenix landing site
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As seen in the top center of this image from Phoenix, the exhaust from the descent engine has blown soil off to reveal either rock or ice, which has not yet been determined. Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Calech/ University of Arizona.
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The Robotic Arm Camera on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander captured this image underneath the lander on the fifth Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Descent thrusters on the bottom of the lander are visible at the top of the image. This view from the north side of the lander toward the southern leg shows smooth surfaces cleared from overlying soil by the rocket exhaust during landing. One exposed edge of the underlying material was seen in Sol 4 images, but the newer image reveals a greater extent of it. The abundance of excavated smooth and level surfaces adds evidence to a hypothesis that the underlying material is an ice table covered by a thin blanket of soil. The bright-looking surface material in the center, where the image is partly overexposed, may not be inherently brighter than the foreground material in shadow.
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This color image, acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 7, the seventh day of the mission (June 1, 2008), shows the so-called "Knave of Hearts" first-dig test area to the north of the lander. The Robotic Arm's scraping blade left a small horizontal depression above where the sample was taken. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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This view from the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the first impression made on the martian soil by the robotic arm scoop on Sol 6, the sixth martian day of the mission, (May 31, 2008). credit: NASA/J PL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University
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This image from the Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) shows material from the martian surface captured by the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop during its first test dig and dump on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008). The test sample shown was taken from the digging area informally known as "Knave of Hearts." The white patches on the right side of the image could possibly be ice or salts that precipitated into the soil. Scientists also speculate that this white material is probably the same material seen in previous images from under the lander in which an upper surface of a possible ice table was observed. The color for this image was acquired by illuminating the RA scoop with a set of red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute
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This view shows the partial opening of doors to one of the ovens of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer. Near the center of the image, the partial opening of a pair of doors reveals a screen over the opening where a soil sample will be delivered. The doors are 10 centimeters (4 inches) long. The opening is 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) wide. A soil sample could be delivered into the oven through the partially opened doors. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech of Arizona.
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This color image was taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Stereo Surface Imager on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008). This image of the trench shows a white layer that has been uncovered by the Robotic Arm scoop and is now visible in the wall of the trench. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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This mosaic of four side-by-side microscope images (one a color composite) was acquired by the Optical Microscope on the Phoenix Lander. Taken on the ninth martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008), the image shows a 3 millimeter (0.12 inch) diameter silicone target after it has been exposed to dust kicked up by the landing. It is the highest resolution image of dust and sand ever acquired on Mars. The silicone substrate provides a sticky surface for holding the particles to be examined by the microscope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona.
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The Robotic Arm of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander released a sample of martian soil onto a screened opening of the lander's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) during the 12th Martian day, or sol, since landing (June 6, 2008). TEGA did not confirm that any of the sample had passed through the screen, which is designed to let fine particles through while keeping bigger ones from clogging the interior of the instrument. Each door is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) long. Image NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute.
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This image shows a view from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Stereo Surface Imager's left eye after delivery of soil to the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA), taken on the 12th martian day after landing (Sol 12, June 6, 2008). Soil is visible on both sides of the open doors of TEGA's #4 oven. Sensors inside the device indicate no soil passed through the screen and into the oven. Image NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander used its Robotic Arm during the mission's 15th martian day since landing (June 9, 2008) to test a "sprinkle" method for delivering small samples of soil to instruments on the lander deck. Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M.
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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this image on Sol 14 (June 8, 2008), the 14th Martian day after landing. Soil from the right trench, informally called "Baby Bear," was delivered to Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, on Sol 12 (June 6). The trench on the left is informally called "Dodo" and was dug as a test. Each of the trenches is about 9 centimeters (3 inches) wide. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this image on Sol 14 (June 8, 2008), the 14th Martian day after landing. Soil from the right trench, informally called "Baby Bear," was delivered to Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, on Sol 12 (June 6). The trench on the left is informally called "Dodo" and was dug as a test. Each of the trenches is about 9 centimeters (3 inches) wide. Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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These images were acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 21st and 25th days of the mission, or Sols 20 and 24 (June 15 and 18, 2008). These images show sublimation of ice in the trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" over the course of four days. In the lower left corner, lumps disappear, similar to the process of evaporation. Image credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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Early spring typically brings dust storms to northern polar Mars. As the north polar cap begins to thaw, the temperature difference between the cold frost region and recently thawed surface results in swirling winds. The choppy dust clouds of at least three dust storms are visible in this mosaic of images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in 2002. The white polar cap is frozen carbon dioxide. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems.
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This image taken by Phoenix's Optical Microscope shows soil sprinkled from the scoop onto a silicone substrate. The substrate was then rotated in front of the microscope. This is the highest resolution image yet seen of martian soil. The image is dominated by fine particles close to the resolution of the microscope. The scale bar is 1 millimeter (0.04 inch). Image NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona.
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