This image was taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 11 (June 5, 2008), the eleventh day after landing. It shows the Robotic Arm scoop containing a soil sample poised over the partially open door of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer's number four cell, or oven.
Light-colored clods of material visible toward the scoop's lower edge may be part of the crusted surface material seen previously near the foot of the lander. The material inside the scoop has been slightly brightened in this image.
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.