NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Cracky Mars

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1592, 21 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 cracked, layered plains-forming material in the western part of Utopia Planitia, Mars. Investigators have speculated that ice might be—or might once have been—present in the ground, and changes in temperature and the amount of ice over time may have led to the formation of these cracks. But no one is certain just how these features formed.
Location near: 45.0°N, 276.1°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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