Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Carbon Dioxide Landscape

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2004
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-780, 7 July 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a mid-summer view of the south polar residual
cap at full MOC resolution, 1.5 m (5 ft) per pixel. During
each of the three summers since the start of the MGS mapping
mission in March 1999, the scarps that form mesas and
pits in the “Swiss cheese”-like south polar terrain have
retreated an average of about 3 meters (~1 yard). The
material is frozen carbon dioxide; another 3 meters or so
of each scarp is expected to be removed during the next
summer, in late 2005. This image is located
near 86.0°S, 350.8°W, and
covers an area about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) wide.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the top/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.