Phoenix Mission Contributions

Several NASA SBIR contracts managed at JPL have led to new technology that has been part of a NASA mission. Three technologies, an icy soil acquisition device, a wet chemistry laboratory and lithium ion batteries are part of the Phoenix mission to the polar region of Mars. SBIR supported work on sample acquisition and transfer systems at Honeybee Robotics helped the company develop the engineering capabilities for the Phoenix mission icy soil sample acquisition device. Starsys Research, now part of SpaceDev, developed a wet chemistry laboratory for a planetary exploration mission. This SBIR work position them to provide wet chemistry laboratories for the unsuccessful Mars Polar Lander and the Phoenix mission. Yardney Technical Products demonstrated a high performance lithium ion battery under a NASA SBIR contract. Further development work led to batteries that power the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and the Phoenix spacecraft.


Phoenix lander