Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Windblown Sand Dunes

By SpaceRef Editor
November 27, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-557, 27 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows sand dunes and large ripples in a crater in
the Hellespontus region of Mars. The winds that formed these
dunes generally blew from the left/lower-left (west/southwest).
Unlike the majority of dunes on Earth, sand dunes on Mars are
mostly made up of dark, rather than light, grains. This scene is
located near 50.3°S, 327.5°W.
The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and 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.