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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Tiled Floor 09-03-2006

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Sunday, September 3, 2006

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1573, 2 September 2006

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows polygonal cracks formed in the material that nearly fills an impact crater on the martian northern plains. The light-toned patches in the cracks are the remains of ice, left over from the preceding winter. On Earth, polygons such as these are most common in the polar regions, and form in the presence of ground ice. Whether the same is true for Mars remains to be determined, but, certainly, this is a good possibility.
Location near: 65.7°N, 277.5°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

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Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.

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