Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Boulder Track

By SpaceRef Editor
July 1, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-408, 1 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

If a boulder rolls down a slope on an uninhabited planet, does it
make a sound? While we do not know the sound made by a boulder
rolling down a slope in the martian region of Gordii Dorsum, we
do know that it made an impression. This full-resolution Mars
Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a
series of depressions made on a dust-mantled slope as a boulder
rolled down it, sometime in the recent past. The boulder track is
located just right of center in this picture. The boulder sits at
the end of the track. This picture was acquired in May 2003;
it is located near 11.2°N, 147.8°W. North is toward
the lower left, sunlight illuminates the scene from the right.
The picture covers an area only 810 meters (about 886 yards) 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.