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Phoenix Digs First Mars Soil Sample To Analyze

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Old 06-09-2008
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Phoenix Digs First Mars Soil Sample To Analyze
An anonymous reader writes "Nearly two weeks after its historic landing, the US Mars probe Phoenix has scooped up its first sample of Martian soil and begun analyzing it for water and organic compounds. The test dig made Sunday by the Phoenix Mars Lander's 8-foot-long robotic arm uncovered bits of bright specks in the soil believed to be ice or salt. Mission controllers will send instructions to the lander to dump the sample into one of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) ovens. The TEGA ovens, which are about an inch long and the diameter of a pencil lead, will heat up the soil samples and use a mass spectrometer to detect the gases that come off the samples, which will shed light on some of the materials in the soil, specifically those formed by the process of liquid water."http://slashdot.org/slashdot-it.pl?f.../06/09/1111241
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
http://rss.slashdot.org/~a/Slashdot/slashdot?i=A4wSgI


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