Even dirtier

A second successful soil dump in as many days for the Mars Phoenix lander. Yesterday they finally managed to get enough soil into the TEGA to do some analysis. Today they’ve managed to sprinkle a sufficient amount of dirt into the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA).

The MECA will perform some chemistry of the sort that most people might imagine when they think of chemical analysis: it’ll test the soil for its pH (level of acidity or alkalinity), determine some of the minerals in it, look at the particles of dirt under a microscope (the presence of some clays would be a hint that there’s been liquid water in Mars’s past), and see how well it conducts heat and electricity.