News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Global Views
Water Ice on Mars Confirmed
Water ice on Mars confirmed.

Mission scientists celebrated the news after a sample of the ice was finally delivered to one of the lander's instruments. Phoenix's mission has also officially been extended for one month beyond its original mission, NASA has announced at a briefing at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where mission control is currently based.

"I'm very happy to announce that we've gotten an ice sample," said the University of Arizona's William Boynton, co-investigator for Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA), which heats up samples and analyzes the vapors they give off to determine their composition.

"We have water," Boynton added. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."

The news that ice had fallen into TEGA came on July 31, surprising scientists who had run into problems delivering a sample of the icy dirt because of its unexpected stickiness.

"There were champagne corks popping in the downlink room," Boynton said. "It's something we've been waiting a long time for."

When scientists tried to deliver samples of icy dirt scraped up from the Snow White trench and deliver it to TEGA last week, the sample stuck to the scoop of Phoenix's robotic arm, with only a few tiny pieces of ice falling onto the oven screen. Scientists decided to deliver a second sample of dry dirt to the oven while they revised their sample delivery method.

The dry sample was scooped up and delivery to the oven was confirmed yesterday. When scientists began heating up the sample, the signal confirmed that "we got a little bit of ice mixed in with this sample," Boynton said.

Scientists could detect the water ice in the sample because when water begins to melt, more heat is needed to raise the temperature of the sample.

Boynton said he initially dubbed the sample "Wicked Witch" after the witch in "Hansel in Gretel" who met her end when she was shoved into an oven. While donning a green costume witch hat, to the laughter of those in the briefing room, he said perhaps he should have named it for the witch in "The Wizard of Oz," famous for her dying line, "I'm melting..."

Phoenix has also completed its color panorama view of its landing site, made of images taken with its Surface Stereo Imager. The images show the Martian terrain in the high arctic regions, which is relatively flat with few rocks and the hummocks and troughs that indicate subsurface ice.

"Essentially it's an ice-dominated terrain," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, lead scientist for Phoenix Surface Stereo Imager.

The completion of the panorama was one of the criteria Phoenix had to meet to achieve mission success, which Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith said should be completely met by the end of the lander's primary mission of 90 sols, or Martian days.

Michael Meyer, chief scientist with Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., said that the mission would be extended through sol 124, or Sept. 30. The mission extension will tack another $2 million onto the $420 million mission. (Space.com)




 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange