The University of Arizona

Phoenix Poised to Deliver Sample for Wet Chemistry

By Lori Stiles, June 24, 2008

Phoenix is set to do the first wet chemistry test of polar Martian soil.

This image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander's Robotic Arm scoop positioned over the Wet Chemistry Lab delivery funnel on Sol 29, the 29th Martian day after landing, or June 24 2008. The soil will be delivered to the instrument on Sol 30.

This image has been enhanced to brighten the scene.
This image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander's Robotic Arm scoop positioned over the Wet Chemistry Lab delivery funnel on Sol 29, the 29th Martian day after landing, or June 24 2008. The soil will be delivered to the instrument on Sol 30. This image has been enhanced to brighten the scene.

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander repositioned its robotic arm slightly Tuesday and is now poised to deliver Martian soil to its wet chemistry laboratory.

Sample delivery and analysis is planned as the science highlight on Wednesday, the 30th Martian day of the mission. Phoenix is to perform the first-ever wet-chemistry experiment on polar Martian terrain, testing the soil for salts, acidity and other characteristics.

The wet chemistry laboratory is part of the suite of tools called the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA.

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, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Contacts

Sara Hammond

University of Arizona

520-626-1974

shammond@lpl.arizona.edu

 

Guy Webster

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

818-354-6278

guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov 

Dwayne Brown

NASA Headquarters

202-358-1726

dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov