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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera





Equatorial, Mid-Latitude, and Polar Views of Mars:
Pictures by the Red Rover Goes To Mars International Student Scientist Team

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-279, 16 February 2001

 

(A) Aeolis "Fan"
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(B) Polar Layers
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(C) Valley & Boulders
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During the Week of February 11 - 16, 2001, an international team of nine Student Scientists---ages 10-15--- visited Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, as part of The Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars Training Mission. On Monday, February 12th, the students targeted three high resolution images to be obtained by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). The commands were uplinked to the MGS spacecraft on Tuesday, February 13th, and the pictures were acquired Wednesday, February 14th. On Thursday, February 15th, the pictures were received on Earth and the nine Student Scientists selected portions of their images for release at a student press conference on Friday, February 16th. The pictures targeted by the students, and the captions written by them, are presented here. For media use, the pictures should be credited as follows: "NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems."



(A) Valley and "fan" material in Aeolis.

Red Rover Science Team Caption: "This picture is located in the equatorial region of Mars. In the bottom right there are valley-like formations present. This picture suggests that there are layers of sediment which could have been deposited by water flowing through this valley."

The upper picture is a portion of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow angle image E01-00870. The lower picture is the MOC wide angle red context frame with a white box indicating the location of the high resolution sub-frame. The pictures were acquired February 14, 2001, are located at 5.2°S, 227.3°W, and are illuminated from the upper left. The high resolution image covers an area 3 km by 9 km (1.9 mi by 5.6 mi) at 3.7 meters (12 feet) per pixel; the context frame covers 115 km by 115 km (71 mi by 71 mi) at 240 meters (787 feet) per pixel.



(B) North Polar Layers.

Red Rover Science Team Caption: "This image is located on the edge of the northern polar ice cap and shows layered terrain which possibly could give us clues about the history of the red planet. This layered terrain could have been formed by the seasonal expansions and contractions of the polar ice cap. The top edge of the ice shows strong evidence of present wind activity."

The upper picture is a portion of MGS MOC narrow angle image E01-00872. The band of black and white stripes near the center of the picture result from a loss of data during transmission to Earth. The lower picture is the MOC wide angle red context frame with a white box indicating the location of the high resolution sub-frame. The pictures were acquired February 14, 2001, are located at 82.1°N, 256.2°W, and are illuminated from the lower left. The high resolution image covers an area approximately 3 km by 9 km (1.9 mi by 5.6 mi) at 3.7 meters (12 feet) per pixel; the context frame covers 115 km by 115 km (71 mi by 71 mi) at 240 meters (787 feet) per pixel.



(C) Nilosyrtis Mensae Valleys and Boulders in the Fretted Terrain.

Red Rover Science Team Caption: "This image was taken in the fretted terrain area located in the middle latitudes of Mars. Interesting features in this area are dunes, valleys, and mysterious black boulders that are as big as 15 to 25 meters (49 to 82 feet). The puzzling position of these mysterious rocks and the lack of our ability to understand how they got there reminds us how much there is still left to discover about our mystery planet."

The upper picture is a portion of MGS MOC narrow angle image E01-00878. The lower picture is the MOC wide angle red context frame with a white box indicating the location of the high resolution sub-frame. The pictures were acquired February 14, 2001, are located at 31.2°N, 289.5°W, and are illuminated from the left. The high resolution image covers an area 3 km by 4.9 km (1.9 mi by 3.0 mi) at 3.7 meters (12 feet) per pixel; the context frame covers 115 km by 115 km (71 mi by 71 mi) at 240 meters (787 feet) per pixel.



Additional Views of the Student Images:

A) Aeolis "fan" -- entire image E01-00870
B) North Polar Layers -- entire image E01-00872
C) Nilosyrtis Valleys and Boulders -- entire image E01-00878


Links:

1. The Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars
2. Day - by - Day accounting of the Student Scientists US visit
3. MOC images considered by the Student Scientists in Landing Site study on February 13, 2001
4. The Planetary Society




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.

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