Shake 'N Bake: Unclogged Phoenix Ovens Ready

Scientists hope cooking Martian soil will yield clues to its nature
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 7:26 AM CDT
The Phoenix Mars Lander used its robotic arm to test a "sprinkle" method for delivering small samples of soil to instruments on the lander deck.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Scientists were cheering yesterday after a tricky operation succeeded in shaking Martian dirt into the Phoenix lander's oven, the Los Angeles Times. The spacecraft will now spend the next few weeks heating up soil samples and analyzing gases. Scientists hope the tests and photos being sent back today will help them understand why the planet's strange, clumpy soil is so different from what they expected.