SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Mars Phoenix to Try Shake-and-Bake Once More
from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)
In a series of maneuvers that sounds more like cooking class than research on Mars, scientists said Monday they would try one more time to shake bits of the clumpy Martian soil into a test oven on NASA's Phoenix lander before switching to a backup strategy that called for dribbling the soil into the oven.
Scientists have failed in two attempts to inject soil from the Martian north pole into one of eight tiny ovens designed to test for organic compounds that would prove Mars' suitability for life.
The problem is, the opening to the oven is about the thickness of a pencil lead. The Martian soil is proving to be much clumpier -- cemented, in scientific terms -- than expected.
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.