Status Report

Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Viking 1 Landing Site in Chryse Planitia – Visible Image

By SpaceRef Editor
July 22, 2002
Filed under , ,

Medium image for 20020720a

Image Context:
Context image for 20020720a
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
[ Find on map: Javascript version ]
[ Find on map: CGI version ]

The date July 20 marks two major milestones in humanities grand push to explore the frontier of space. On this date, in 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle landed the first men (Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin) on another celestial body, the Moon. In 1976, seven years to the day, the robotic Viking 1 Lander made the first successful landing on the ruddy rock strewn surface of Mars. To commemorate these milestones the THEMIS Team is releasing both an IR (Infra-Red) and Visible image of the Viking 1 landing site. THEMIS is currently imaging landing sites for future robotic missions including the twin Mars Exploration Rovers set to touchdown in January 2004. All of these missions anticipate the day when, hopefully in the not too distant future, astronauts will land on the red planet. So as we reflect on our rich tradition of space exploration let us also dream and plan on a wondrous future exploring the mysterious red planet.

Viking 1 landed on a relatively smooth plain in Chryse Planitia (Plains of Gold), which is a low region of the northern hemisphere of Mars. The reported landing site is 22.48? N, 49.97? W. The landing site is marked with an X in the images. This region of Mars is dominated by plains, wrinkle ridges, and impact craters.

This 4 framelet image is part of a 5 band image sequence. This image primarily contains plains, wrinkle ridges and craters. Some craters have ripples on their floors, which are probably dunes while other craters have some type of deposit on their floors. These deposits are most likely aeolian in nature. In places the wrinkle ridges appear to be buried or mantled with material that may be either volcanic and or fluvial in origin. The lander’s view of the surface shows an undulating rocky surface with some finer grained materials present, and distant crater rims and wrinkle ridges.

Mars Surface Image Credit: NASA

[Source: ASU THEMIS Science Team]

Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

[ Show Full-Size Image (GIF) ] [ Show Full-Size Image (JPG) ]
[ Show Full-Size Image (PNG) ] [ Show Full-Size Image (TIF) ]

ParameterValue ParameterValue
Latitude22.3 &nbsp InstrumentVIS
Longitude48.2W (311.8E) &nbsp Resolution (m)19
Image Size (pixels)672×1037 &nbsp Image Size (km)12.8×19.7

SpaceRef staff editor.