This image was taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008). The center of the image shows a trench informally called "Dodo" after the second dig. "Dodo" is located within the previously determined digging area, informally called "Knave of Hearts." The light square to the right of the trench is the Robotic Arm's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP). The Robotic Arm has scraped to a bright surface which indicated the Arm has reached a solid structure underneath the surface, which has been seen in other images as well.
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.