Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Fretted Terrain Valley Floor

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

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-699, 17 April 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a typical fretted terrain valley floor, located
southwest of Moreux Crater
near 40.3°N, 317.7°W. Prior to the MGS mission,
images from the Viking and Mariner 9 orbiters led to speculation
that the lineated floors of fretted terrain valleys indicated
the results of flowing ice. MGS MOC images have shown that these
lineations occur in closed, as well as open, fretted terrain
valleys. The lineations might, therefore, have nothing to do
with flowing ice. They might instead be an expression of eroded
layered material. Studies of fretted terrain landforms are on-going
within the Mars science community.
This January 2004 image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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.