The science payload of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander includes a multi-tool instrument named the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The instrument's wet chemistry laboratory, prominent in this photograph, will measure a range of chemical properties of Martian soil samples, such as the presence of dissolved salts and the level of acidity or alkalinity. Other tools that are parts of the instrument are microscopes that will examine samples' mineral grains and a probe that will check the soil's thermal and electrical properties.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA
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