PIA02312: Mars Polar Lander Site Surface Details
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: 672 x 475 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Producer ID: MOC2-174C
MRPS95200
Addition Date: 2000-05-16
Primary Data Set: MGS EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA02312.tif (298.3 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA02312.jpg (86.12 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

This picture is an enlargement of a portion of a MOC image taken in late July 1999, showing the onset of defrosting of the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap (small, occasionally fan-shaped dark spots seen throughout this image). Two craters are seen in this image, a very rare occurrence on the south polar layered deposits. Shown for comparison at the same scale is a picture of Jack Murphy (now Qualcomm) Stadium in San Diego, California. Clearly visible in the inset is the baseball diamond and pitcher's mound; less clear but certainly visible are a number of automobiles (small light dots) in the parking lot west (to the left) of the stadium. The elevation of the sun in the Mars image is about 10; the sunlight is coming from the bottom (north) in this image. The shadow of the rims of the craters can be used to determine their depths. The smaller crater in the bottom right corner is about 60 m (197 feet) across and 7 m (23 feet) deep; the large crater just below the inset is 175 m (574 feet) across and 17 m (56 feet) deep. Similar calculations for other features in the images indicate that much of the surface is smooth and flat. Relief is typically much less than 1-2 meters (3-7 feet) in height over areas of 10-15 meters across (33-49 feet).

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/MSSS

Image Addition Date:
2000-05-16