In The Field

Phoenix landing: Shake ‘n’ bake

After five days of shaking, TEGA will finally get around to some baking. Last Friday, the robotic arm dropped some soil onto the screen door of one of the ovens for TEGA, Phoenix’s main chemical analysis instrument. But the soil was apparently too clumpy. Mission scientists sent commands to vibrate the instrument, which resulted in some material getting through the screen (see the animated gif here). But somehow it wasn’t getting into the oven. Today, something finally gave — was it the weather? was it the vibrating? — and the oven is now full. Now they’ve got to worry about contamination. 


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