This image is a composite view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) with its lights on, as seen by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager (SSI). This image combines images taken on the afternoon of Phoenix's 116th Martian day, or sol (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. When combined, it appears that all three sets of LEDs are on at the same time. This composite image is not true color. The streaks of color extending from the LEDs are an artifact from saturated exposure.
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.