PIA01030: Mars Orbiter Camera High Resolution Images: Some Results From The First 6 Weeks In Orbit
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Spacecraft: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
Instrument: Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Product Size: 1280 x 960 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Producer ID: MRPS85535
Addition Date: 1997-11-10
Primary Data Set: MGS EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA01030.tif (1.248 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA01030.jpg (298.2 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images acquired shortly after orbit insertion were relatively poor in both resolution and image quality. This poor performance was solely the result of low sunlight conditions and the relative distance to the planet, both of which have been progressively improving over the past six weeks. Some of the better images are used here (see PIA01021 through PIA01029) to illustrate how the MOC images provide substantially better views of the martian surface than have ever been recorded previously from orbit.

This U.S. Geological Survey shaded relief map provides an overall context for the MGS MOC images of the Tithonium/Ius Chasma, Ganges Chasma, and Schiaparelli Crater. Closeup images of the Tithonium/Ius Chasma area are visible in PIA01021 through PIA01023. Closeups of Ganges Chasma are available as PIA01027 through PIA01029, and Schiaparelli Crater is shown in PIA01024 through PIA01026. The Mars Pathfinder landing site is shown to the north of the sites of the MGS images.

Launched on November 7, 1996, Mars Global Surveyor entered Mars orbit on Thursday, September 11, 1997. The original mission plan called for using friction with the planet's atmosphere to reduce the orbital energy, leading to a two-year mapping mission from close, circular orbit (beginning in March 1998). Owing to difficulties with one of the two solar panels, aerobraking was suspended in mid-October and resumed in November 8. Many of the original objectives of the mission, and in particular those of the camera, are likely to be accomplished as the mission progresses.

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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
1997-11-10