Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Hellas Planitia

By SpaceRef Editor
October 6, 2003
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-505, 6 October 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Northwest Hellas Planitia presents an array of
strange-looking surfaces. This
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows an example near
39.3°S, 306.7°W. The scene is illuminated
by sunlight from the upper left. Some of the banding
apparent in this image may be related to layering, but
the overall cause for the patterns remains
elusive. Hellas Basin is a difficult place to obtain
MOC high resolution images, because for most of the
year it is cloudy. The clouds clear up and imaging
opportunities are spectacular in southern autumn,
the time of year that this image was obtained.
This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

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.