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This movie clip shows testing under simulated Mars conditions on Earth in preparation for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander using its robotic arm for delivering a sample to the doors of a laboratory oven.
The icy soil used in the testing flowed easily from the scoop during all tests at Martian temperatures. On Mars, icy soil has stuck to the scoop, a surprise that may be related to composition of the soil at the landing site.
This testing was done at Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, which supplied the Phoenix scoop.
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.