Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Meridiani Bedrock

By SpaceRef Editor
December 23, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-949, 23 December 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B), Opportunity, spent
much of this year exploring outcrops of light-toned,
layered, sedimentary rock that occur just beneath the
dark plains of Sinus Meridiani. To access these rocks,
the rover had to look at the walls and rims of impact
craters. Further to the north and east of where the rover
landed, similar rocks outcrop at the surface—in other
words, they are not covered by dark sand and granules as
they are at the rover site.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows an example from eastern Sinus Meridiani. All
of the light-toned surfaces in this image are outcrops
of ancient sedimentary rock. Similar rocks probably occur
beneath the low albedo (dark) materials that mantle the
lower-elevation surfaces in this area. This picture is located
near 0.5°S, 356.7°W. The image covers
an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and
sunlight illuminates the scene 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.