Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Meridiani Outcrops 07-31-2004

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2004
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-804, 31 July 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The sedimentary rock outcrops explored this year
by the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, in
Meridiani Planum are just the “tip of the iceberg.”
Northern Sinus Meridiani exhibits vast outcrops of
sedimentary rock of widely varied erosional
characteristics and physical properties. Investigation
of these rocks from orbit using the high resolution
capabilities of the
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
has been underway for nearly seven years.
This MGS MOC image shows an example, complete with small buttes
formed of eroded sedimentary rock, in northern Sinus Meridiani.
The image is located
near 1.2°N, 358.9°W, and covers an area
about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.
Sunlight illuminates the terrain from the 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.