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Spacecraft and Science Instruments


Aboard the deck of the Phoenix spacecraft are a suite of science instruments representing some of the most sophisticated and advanced technology ever sent to Mars. The following fact sheets provide details about the spacecraft and science instruments aboard Phoenix.

Spacecraft - built by Lockheed Martin
The Phoenix Mission inherits a highly capable spacecraft partially built for the Mars Surveyor Program 2001 (MSP'01) More


Robotic Arm (RA)-built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Alliance Spacesystems and Honeybee Robotics
The RA is critical to the operations of the Phoenix lander and is designed to dig trenches, scoop up soil and water ice samples, and deliver these samples to the TEGA and MECA instruments for detailed chemical and geological analysis. More

Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA)-built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
MECA is a combination of several scientific instruments including a wet chemistry laboratory, optical and atomic force microscopes, and a thermal and electrical conductivity probe. More

Additional information about the MECA Microscopy Sample Stage Configuration can be found here.

Robotic Arm Camera (RAC)-built by the University of Arizona and Max Planck Institute, Germany
The RAC is attached to the Robotic Arm (RA) just above the scoop. More

Surface Stereo Imager (SSI)-built by the University of Arizona
SSI will serve as Phoenix's "eyes" for the mission, providing high-resolution, stereoscopic, panoramic images of the martian arctic. More

Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA)-built by the University of Arizona and University of Texas, Dallas
TEGA is a combination high-temperature furnace and mass spectrometer instrument that scientists will use to analyze martian ice and soil samples. More

Mars Descent Imager (MARDI)-built by Malin Space Science Systems
MARDI plays a key science role during Phoenix's descent to the martian arctic. More

Meteorological Station (MET)-built by the Canadian Space Agency
Throughout the course of Phoenix surface operations, MET will record the daily weather of the martian northern plains. More

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