This approximate color image is a view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) as seen by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). This image was taken on the afternoon of the 116th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (September 22, 2008). The RAC is about 8 centimeters (3 inches) tall.
The SSI took images of the RAC to test both the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and cover function. Individual images were taken in three SSI filters that correspond to the red, green, and blue LEDs one at a time. This yields proper coloring when imaging Phoenix's surrounding Martian environment.
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.