Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Layered Slopes

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-747, 4 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows exposures of layered material on slopes
in the south polar region
near 81.9°S, 72.2°W.
Layers record the history of a place, but accessing the
information contained in these layers may one day
require a visit by a human or robotic explorer. The
south polar layers, in general, are believed to be
accumulations of dust and ice that were built up in
the most recent billion years or so. However, they
could just as easily be sedimentary rocks from much
earlier in martian history. The picture
covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The
scene is illuminated by sunlight from the 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.