Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: South Polar Landforms

By SpaceRef Editor
February 8, 2006
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1367, 8 February 2006

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an area adjacent to the south polar residual cap that hosts several intricate fracture networks. Each network consists of multiple fractures radiating from a central location. Their origin is not understood–some investigators have speculated that these are sites of release of carbon dioxide from beneath the ground, but this explanation seems inadequate to explain all attributes of the features. MOC images have shown that these features have not been changing from year to year during the course of the MGS mission.

Location near: 87.1°S, 234.1°W

Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)

Illumination from: upper left

Season: Southern Summer

Tips for Media Use

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.