Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Apollinaris, Gusev, and Spirit

By SpaceRef Editor
September 3, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-838, 3 September 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

On 3 September 2004, the 28th anniversary of the Viking 2
landing on Mars, we take a look back only 9 months at
another place where a U.S. spacecraft landed on the red planet.
This oblique red wide angle camera image
obtained by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
shows the proximity of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A), Spirit,
landing site in Gusev Crater to the martian volcano,
Apollinaris Patera. The January 2004 Spirit landing site is indicated by
the white circle at the bottom (south end) of the image. The volcano covers
most of the upper (northern) half of the picture. The volcano’s
summit depression, or caldera is about 73 kilometers
(~45 miles) across. This perspective view was obtained in June 2004
by MOC as MGS was beginning to roll so as to point the camera
at a target located further north. The Spirit landing site is located
near 14.8°S, 184.6°W.
Sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left.

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.