It’s Growing And It’s On Mars
But It’s Not Likely Alive
Nonetheless, it’s pretty odd, interesting stuff that’s clumping up on the legs and struts of the Mars Phoenix lander. It’s also sticky and clumpy and that’s why the Martian soil gave Phoenix so many problems when it tried to dump some into the lander’s ovens.
Clumps of material have adhered to the legs of the Phoenix Mars Lander, and the clumps continue to change and grow. The science team has discussed various possible explanations for these clumps. One suggestion is that they may have started from a splash of mud if Phoenix’s descent engines melted icy soil during the landing.
Whatever it is that’s condensing on the struts sticks better when it’s colder, too, and is favoring the north side, like moss on trees, for that reason.