The trench was about 20 by 30 centimeters (8 by 12 inches) after work by the arm on Saturday. The team sent commands yesterday to extend the longer dimension by about 15 centimeters (6 inches).
Experiments with a near-duplicate of the lander in Tucson during the past week indicate that the bigger surface is needed to allow steps planned for collecting an icy sample from the Martian trench informally named "Snow White."
"Right now, there is not enough real estate of dark icy soil in the trench to do a sample acquisition test and later a full-up acquisition" for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, said Ray Arvidson, Phoenix's "dig czar," from Washington University in St. Louis. The arm's rasp will kick the icy soil into the scoop through a special capture mechanism, and scientists also want to scoop up any loose material left in the trench from the rasping activity, Arvidson said.
Samples of shallower, non-icy soil from the Snow White trench have already been examined in Phoenix's wet chemistry laboratory and optical microscope, and a fork-like probe has checked how well nearby soil conducts electricity and heat.
"The Phoenix science team is working diligently to analyze the results of the tests from these various instruments," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith of The University of Arizona. "The preliminary signatures we are seeing are intriguing. Before we release results, we want to verify that our interpretations are correct by conducting laboratory tests."As the Robotic Arm was extracting the fork-like conductivity probe from the soil on Saturday, the arm contacted a rock called "Alice," near the "Snow White"
trenching area. The arm is programmed to stop activity when it encounters an obstacle. The team assessed the arm's status on Sunday and decided to resume use of the arm on Monday. Yesterday's commands called for the Robotic Arm to move away from the rock, dump out soil that is in the scoop and extend the Snow White trench approximately 15 centimeters (6 inches) toward the lander.
The Phoenix mission is led by Smith of the UA with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, 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. For more about Phoenix, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix and http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
New functional principle to generate the „third harmonic“
16.02.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine