This image of Martian soil was taken by the Phoenix Lander's atomic force microscope on Sol 74 of the mission, which began on May 25, 2008. This image of a flat, smooth-surfaced particle is consistent with the appearance of soil from Earth containing the mineral phyllosilicate.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was 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.