Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Cracky Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
September 21, 2006
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1592, 21 September 2006

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows cracked, layered plains-forming material in the western part of Utopia Planitia, Mars. Investigators have speculated that ice might be—or might once have been—present in the ground, and changes in temperature and the amount of ice over time may have led to the formation of these cracks. But no one is certain just how these features formed.
Location near: 45.0°N, 276.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

Tips for Media Use

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.