Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: West of Meridiani

By SpaceRef Editor
January 7, 2005
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-964, 7 January 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows an eroded landscape occurring west of Sinus
Meridiani, the region in which the Mars Exploration Rover,
Opportunity, landed nearly a year ago. The bedrock at
this location is buried beneath a mantle of dust, sand,
and granules, but remnants of younger layers of bedrock
now stand high in the form of buttes in the lower right
quarter of the image. The two circular mesas were once
meteor impact craters. They were filled, buried, and
fossilized within the rock, then later exhumed. This
scene is located
near 1.5°N, 6.2°W.
The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across,
and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower 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.