10 June 2008

Phoenix tries to shake 'n bake

Posted by briony

An update on the soil that’s too clumpy to fall through the screen on the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA): to try to break up and loosen the soil, the engineers shook it for 7 minutes using vibrators inside TEGA. A few particles were detected to fall through the grate, but not enough to fill the oven and run a test

Here’s an animation of the clumpy soil before and after the shaking:

The engineers are now going to try to shake the soil loose one more time. If that doesn’t work, they’ll move onto another oven. This time, they’ll try “sprinkling” the soil on the grate, as opposed to dumping it.

In case you were wondering what the entrance to TEGA looks like under all that soil, here’s an image I’ve edited to point out the important features:

The vibrator they’re using seems to just be a screw that repeatedly bumps into the screen.