PIA09954: Chemistry Lab for Phoenix Mars Lander
 Mission:  Phoenix
 Spacecraft:  Phoenix Mars Lander
 Instrument:  MECA
 Product Size:  1175 x 881 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA09954.tif (3.109 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA09954.jpg (173.8 kB)

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The science payload of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander includes a multi-tool instrument named the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The instrument's wet chemistry laboratory, prominent in this photograph, will measure a range of chemical properties of Martian soil samples, such as the presence of dissolved salts and the level of acidity or alkalinity. Other tools that are parts of the instrument are microscopes that will examine samples' mineral grains and a probe that will check the soil's thermal and electrical properties.

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.

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