Posted by: earthandbeyond | June 9, 2008

Mars soil clogs Phoenix’s oven

The oven designated Oven four of eight has been clogged by the clumpy Martian soil. Despite the Borg-like designation, the oven isn’t working perfectly. Actually, it’s the screen that’s supposed to allow particles smaller than 1 mm to pass through to the oven for cooking. The soil is highly cohesive, kind of like the consistency of clay. The cohesion wasn’t expected, but you can’t predict everything. The comments at the end of the Space.com article are amusing, though. People are making comments about how the mission costs $420 million, and that it’s useless. Purely stupid questions. Well, it was designed so that if anything like this happened, it would vibrate and try shake some of the sample into the oven. Well, that’s what they’re going to do.

The oven is clogged.

Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Max Planck Institute

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