Mars Phoenix Lander (17 images)

Updated: May 27, 2008 at 11:02 AM
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The robotic arm, a vital instrument on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, will dig into the icy soil and bring samples back to the science deck of the spacecraft for analysis. In September 2006 at a Lockheed Martin Space Systems clean room facility near Denver, spacecraft technician Billy Jones inspects the arm during the assembly phase of the mission. Using the robotic arm, built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Phoenix mission will study the history of water and search for complex organic molecules in the ice-rich soil. The spacecraft was built in a 100,000-class clean room under NASA's planetary protection practices to keep organics from being taken to Mars. Phoenix landed on Mars on Sunday, May 25, 2008. (UPI Photo/NASA/JPL/UA/Lockheed Martin)
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