NASA's Phoenix space probe has begun its task of sampling the Martian polar ice cap. The Phoenix lander has eight separate ovens inside it, that will allow it to "bake" samples of Martian soil and analyze their composition, in search of water. On June 3, NASA's Phoenix space probe found a white substance in nearby soil, which is believed to be possible water ice. On June 12, two trenches, which became known as "Dodo" and "Goldilocks", were dug by Phoenix's robotic arm to analyze this white material. The two trenches were again excavated and joined, forming the "Dodo-Goldilocks" trench, which is 8.7 inches wide, 13.8 inches long, and about 3 inches deep. The soil collected from these trenches was put into a sample oven and is currently being analyzed. The hope is that this white material is water ice.
Image Courtesy of: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University/NASA Ames Research Center