This view from the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the first impression—dubbed Yeti and looking like a wide footprint -- made on the Martian soil by the Robotic Arm scoop on Sol 6, the sixth Martian day of the mission, (May 31, 2008).
Touching the ground is the first step toward scooping up soil and ice and delivering the samples to the lander's experiments.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.