Some updates on Phoenix…

After a successful landing last month, Phoenix is now ready to analyse some Martian soil.

It was an eventful week for Phoenix: after digging up some soil, the sample was sent to the oven of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, which will “bake and sniff” the chemical make-up of the soil.

But somehow, although picture clearly shown that the sample scattered over the oven door and the vibration plate appears to be functioning, a sensor inside the chamber has reported seeing nothing falling into the oven. This may be due to the screen on top of TEGA which only allow small particles into the chamber.

So, the engineers try a revised method – the sprinkle technique – and it seems to work.

After vibrating the screen for three days, the Martian soils now finally “sit” within TEGA. TEGA is ready to heat the soil, and soon we will know what the Martian soils are made of.


~ by thChieh on June 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Some updates on Phoenix…”

  1. One can also follow the latest activity of Phoenix on Twitter here.

  2. Phoenix found ice on Mars!

  3. It seems like good evidence that it may be ice. But I think I’ll wait for the another test result of the soil before making any conclusion. The first test didn’t turn up any water, but this doesn’t means that there is no water on Mars. Phoenix still has some tricks up its sleeves…

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