These three color views show the Robotic Arm scoop from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image shows a handful of Martian soil dug from the digging site informally called "Knave of Hearts," from the trench informally called "Dodo," on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008). "Dodo" is the same site as the earlier test trench dug on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008).
The Robotic Arm Camera took the three color views at different focus positions. Scientists can better study soil structure and estimate how much soil was collected by taking multiple images at different foci.
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.