Monday, June 2, 2008

Lander's arm touches Martian soil for first time

TUCSON, Ariz. - Scientists overseeing NASA's new Mars spacecraft say the lander's robotic arm has touched soil on the red planet for the first time.

The scientists said Sunday that the arm reached out the day before and left an impression that resembles a footprint.

They say it's the first step in a series of actions that will provide soil and ice for the lander's experiments.

The robotic arm camera also took images of what is believed to be exposed ice under the lander.

The University of Arizona in Tucson is leading the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is managing it.

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