PIA02989: South Polar Cap of Mars as seen by Mariners 9 & 7
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mariner Mars 1971 (Mariner 9) 
 Spacecraft:  Mariner 9
 Product Size:  4288 x 6265 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Producer ID:  P12675
 Addition Date:  2000-11-22
 Primary Data Set:  MARINER71_PAGE
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA02989.tif (23.13 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA02989.jpg (3.019 MB)

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 mosaic of Mariner 9 frames (top), taken during the first orbit, shows the remnants of the south polar cap of Mars dimly through the great dust storm. Mariner 7 photographed the same area in August, 1969 (bottom) at which time the entire region was covered with dry ice. The strange quasilinear features of 1969 have been replaced by a number of bright curved appendages never before seen on Mars and, at this time, unexplained.

Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. The spacecraft was designed to continue the atmospheric studies begun by Mariners 6 and 7, and to map over 70% of the Martian surface from the lowest altitude (1500 kilometers [900 miles]) and at the highest resolutions (1 kilometer per pixel to 100 meters per pixel) of any previous Mars mission.

Mariner 9 was launched on May 30, 1971 and arrived on November 14, 1971.

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