The Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took measurements in Martian soil and in the air.
The needles on the end of the instrument were inserted into the Martian soil, allowing TECP to measure the propagation of both thermal and electrical energy. TECP also measured the humidity in the surrounding air.
The needles on the probe are 15 millimeters (0.6 inch) long.
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.