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Scientists ran into a snag when trying to deliver a sample of Martian arctic soil to one of the instruments on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, mission controllers said on Saturday.
The lander's robotic arm released a handful of clumpy Martian soil onto a screened opening of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) on Friday, but the instrument did not confirm that any of the sample passed through the screen.
Images taken on Friday show soil resting on the screen over an open sample-delivery door of TEGA, which is designed to heat up soil samples and analyze the vapors they give off to determine the soil's composition.
The researchers have not yet determined why none of the sample appears to have gotten past the screen, but they have begun proposing possibilities.
Originally posted by Camilo1
The geniuses from NASA did not anticipate that an accumulation of soil would not let the doors open properly?.
The more I know about NASA the more I`m inclined to think that they are the biggest scam humanity has ever seen.
Originally posted by SystemiK
How do they deal with the excess soil which lands around the door openings? Will this not build up to the point that the operation of the oven doors is impeded?
Originally posted by LAUGHING-CAT
That's just great.
Now the clods at NASA have been stymied by some clods on Mars.
What an oversite. It seems that none of the designers played in the dirt growing up.
TEGA is a combination high-temperature furnace and mass spectrometer instrument that scientists will use to analyze martian ice and soil samples. The robotic arm will deliver samples to a hopper designed to feed a small amount of soil and ice into eight tiny ovens about the size of an ink cartridge in a ballpoint pen. Each of these ovens will be used only once to analyze eight unique ice and soil samples.