In The Field

Phoenix landing: getting stuck in

After getting the scoop of a lifetime last week – finding ice – Phoenix is now ready to start doing some experiments of the chemical kind (press release). This is the first ever chemistry experiment to be done on polar Martian soil. But I don’t think Phoenix will be using pipettes and test tubes, or even a Bunsen burner. Phoenix’s lab is called MECA (microscopy, electrochemistry and conductivity analyzer) and will be able to test the Martian soil’s acidity and salt content, and the instrument can also check out the different isotopes of elements present, and work out if there 

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