Volume: 06, Issue: 07 07/09/2008 
The Snow White trenches and scraping prove that scientists can take surface soil samples, subsurface soil samples, and icy samples all from one unit. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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Snow White 5 is located in a patch of Martian soil near the center of a polygonal surface feature, nicknamed "Cheshire Cat." The digging site has been named "Wonderland." Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute.
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These color 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 19, 2008). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
NASA Spacecraft Reveal Largest Crater in the Solar System
Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources
NASA and ESA Complete Comparative Exploration Architecture Study
Student Opportunities
 

Phoenix Scrapes to Icy Soil in Wonderland

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander scraped to icy soil in the “Wonderland” area on June 26, confirming that surface soil, subsurface soil, and icy soil can be sampled at a single trench.

Phoenix scientists are now assured they have a complete soil-layer profile in Wonderland’s “Snow White” extended trench.

By rasping to icy soil, the robotic arm on Phoenix proved it could flatten the layer where soil meets ice, exposing the icy flat surface below the soil. Scientists can now proceed with plans to scoop and scrape samples into Phoenix’s various analytical instruments. Scientists will test samples to determine if some ice in the soil may have been liquid in the past during warmer climate cycles.

It’s another encouraging step to meeting Phoenix mission goals, which are to study the history of Martian water in all its phases and determine if the Martian arctic soil could support life.

For more information, please visit the following websites:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/main/index.html.

    
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