Status Report

NASA Mars Image of the Day: Third MOC View of Opportunity Landing Site

By SpaceRef Editor
February 17, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-639, 17 February 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Around 19:03 UTC on 15 February 2004, the
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft
flew almost directly over the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B),
Opportunity, landing site. The MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
team decided, therefore, to take MOC’s third picture of the
lander. Unlike the previous two images, this attempt
did not require rolling the spacecraft to hit the target. The
image shows the location of the lander in its small impact
crater; it also shows the locations of the parachute/backshell
and the area disturbed by landing rockets and the first bounce.
The heat shield impact site was too far east for the camera to
view. The Opportunity landing site is near 2.0°S, 5.6°W
in Meridiani Planum. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the
left. The 150 meter scale bar is about 164 yards long. The image
is not map-projected; north is toward the top/upper right.

For additional MGS MOC views of the Opportunity landing site, see:

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.