Lander Arm Touches Ground for First Time

Lander Arm Touches Mars Ground

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander reached out and touched the Martian soil for the first time on Saturday, May 31, the first step in a series of actions expected to bring soil and ice to the lander’s experiments.

The lander’s Robotic Arm scoop left an impression that resembles a footprint at a place provisionally named Yeti in the King of Hearts target zone, away from the area that eventually will be sampled for evaluation.

The impression in the soil was captured by Phoenix’s Stereo Surface Imager. Features and locations around the Phoenix lander are being named for fairy tale and mythological characters.

“This first touch allows us to utilize the Robotic Arm accurately. We are in a good situation for the upcoming sample acquisition and transfer,” said David Spencer, Phoenix’s surface mission manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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~ by aspoeth on June 1, 2008.

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