Status Report

Mars Picture of the Day: “Happy Face” Crater

By SpaceRef Editor
May 15, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor – Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-361, 15 May 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Every day, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
wide angle instruments obtain a global view of the planet to help
monitor weather and seasonal patterns of frost deposition and
removal. The two pictures shown here are taken from the
same daily global image mosaic (the only difference is that
each was processed slightly differently).
The pictures show Galle Crater, informally known as “Happy Face,”
as it appeared in early southern winter. The white-ish gray surfaces
are coated with wintertime carbon dioxide frost. The pattern of frost
distribution gives the appearance that “Happy Face” has opened its mouth.
Galle Crater is located on the east rim of Argyre at
51°S, 31°W.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the
upper left. Galle Crater is 230 km (143 mi) across.

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.