More Mars data

The Phoenix explorer on Mars is now returning lots of cool new data.

  • Earlier samples of soil have been put through some analysis inside Phoenix; the resultant data, for NASA scientists, “was like winning the lottery.” For example, the soil at the landing spot appears to be similar to surface soils found in the upper dry valleys in Antarctica. One scientist said, “This is more evidence for water because salts are there. We also found a reasonable number of nutrients, or chemicals needed by life as we know it.”Another said, “At this point, we can say that the soil has clearly interacted with water in the past.”
  • A couple of days later the digging arms on Phoenix scraped a new area, and photos of the scraped spot indicate “that surface soil, subsurface soil and icy soil can be sampled at a single trench.”