Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer

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TeGa redirects here. It can refer to Terra Galega.
Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer

The Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) is a scientific instrument aboard the Phoenix spacecraft. TEGA's design is based on experience gained from the failed Mars Polar Lander. Soil samples taken from the Martian surface by the robot arm are eventually delivered to the TEGA, where they are heated in an oven to about 1,000 °C. This heat causes the volatile compounds to be given off as gases which are sent to a mass spectrometer for analysis. This spectrometer is adjusted to measure particularly the isotope ratios for oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and heavier gases. Detection values are as low as 10 parts per billion. The Phoenix TEGA has 8 ovens, which are enough for 8 samples.

Martian soil being delivered to TEGA

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