I stumbled across this image which shows the Phoenix Lander being integrated into its backshell: enter image description here

This is the only image "source" I was able to find: https://picryl.com/media/phoenix-mars-lander-spacecraft-processing-422670

There is a full resolution image at https://images-assets.nasa.gov/image/KSC-07PD-1090/KSC-07PD-1090~orig.jpg

This is a crop from that image showing the glove area:

crop of the high res image showing the glove

I'm wondering why there is a blue glove visible in it. Certainly, this glove didn't make it to Mars, but still, I'm wondering why it is there.

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    $\begingroup$ Be interesting to see if there is a proper source, but have used gloves in that way when needing to protect a connector or pipe in a hurry by stuffing a glove finger (or whole glove) over it. You have big supplies of the gloves, they are rated for use on whatever you are working on and picking different fingers gets you a range of sizes. An answer probably involves working out what is supposed to be connected there. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2023 at 9:00
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    $\begingroup$ For any others trying to ID the hardware being gloved, it appears the leg closest to camera is the one by itself with respect to the solar panels, while the arm and other science hardware is on the side with two legs between the solar panel farthest from camera. So majority of drawings/details show that more interesting far side! A locating feature is the rectangular box with plugs just to right of landing leg in the shot, though is covered in different material in other photos for extra challenge. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2023 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ @GremlinWranger I believe this might be MARDI. $\endgroup$
    – RAD6000
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ If you make the image bigger & focus on the glove you'll see the glove is vertical. The fingers flop down, bending the glove in two. It appears the glove may have be placed on "an item" to protect it from something, presumably dust. Or the item might have been an open hole & the glove is preventing something from falling into the hole. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ I messed up, the lander in the picture is actually Phoenix, not MPL. $\endgroup$
    – RAD6000
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 19:07


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