NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander widened the deepest trench it has excavated, dubbed "Stone Soup," (in the lower half of this image) to collect a sample from about 18 centimeters (7 inches) below the surface for analysis by the lander's wet chemistry laboratory.
Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager took this image on Sol 95 (Aug. 30, 2008), the 95th Martian day since landing. For scale, the rock to the right of the Stone Soup trench is about 15 centimeters (6 inches) across. The lander's robotic arm scooped up a sample from the left half of the trench for delivery the following sol to the wet chemistry laboratory.
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.