Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Isidis Planitia 12-24-2003

By SpaceRef Editor
December 24, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-584, 24 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a small portion of the vast Isidis Planitia, the
region in which the Beagle 2 is scheduled to land on 25 December 2003 (GMT;
it will be the evening of 24 December 2003 in the U.S.).
Much of Isidis Planitia has low hills and mounds like those
shown here. Many of these are remnants of a layer (or group of
sub-resolution layers)
that once more extensively covered Isidis Planitia, but was later
stripped away, revealing previously-buried meteor impact craters.
The light-toned ridges and somewhat squiggly features are windblown
dunes. This picture is located
around 10.7°N, 268.6°W, which is in the vicinity
of the projected
Beagle 2 landing zone. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/lower left.

Visit these links to other Beagle 2 information:

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.