Robotic arm of NASA's new Mars spacecraft touches soil for first time

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June 2, 2008 03:47

NASA's new robot on Mars has reached out and touched the soil for the first time, leaving behind a striking footprint-like impression, scientists said Sunday. The Phoenix Mars Lander's robotic arm was making a test run, just one week after its landing. The spacecraft, which is also its own laboratory, will soon start scooping up soil and ice and running tests on it. "This first touch allows us to utilize the robotic arm accurately," said David Spencer, Phoenix's surface mission manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "We are in a good situation" for the future testing, he said.


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