This image shows NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander’s solar panel and the lander’s Robotic Arm with a sample in the scoop. The image was taken by the lander’s Surface Stereo Imager looking west during Phoenix’s Sol 16 (June 10, 2008), or the 16th Martian day after landing. The image was taken just before the sample was delivered to the Optical Microscope. This view is a part of the "mission success" panorama that will show the whole landing site in color.
June 13, 2008 New observations from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander provide the most magnified view ever seen of Martian soil, showing particles clumping together even at the smallest visible scale.
In the past two days, two instruments on the lander deck -- a microscope and a bake-and-sniff analyzer -- have begun inspecting soil samples delivered by the scoop on Phoenix's Robotic Arm.
"This is the first time since the Viking missions three decades ago that a sample is being studied inside an instrument on Mars," said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson.