These color images were taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Stereo Surface Imager on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008). The images of the trench shows a white layer that has been uncovered by the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop and is now visible in the wall of the trench. This trench was the first one dug by the RA to understand the Martian soil and plan the digging strategy.
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.