Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter Camera Release Number MOC2-1A
The HST images shown here have been reduced in scale to match that of the MGS/MOC image. Although the HST is 10 times farther from Mars than MGS, its images are sharper because its resolving power is 15 times better than the MOC, and the light gathering area is almost 50 times greater. However, MGS is presently 45,000 times farther from Mars than it will be when the MOC begins its primary photography mission. At 400 km above the martian surface, the MOC wide angle camera will collect daily images at a resolution of 7.5 km/pixel, compared to HST's best of about 20 km/pixel. The narrow angle camera will observe portions of Mars at better than 1.5 m/pixel.
The Mars Global Surveyor is operated by the Mars Surveyor Operations Project managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA. The Mars Orbiter Camera is a duplicate of one of the 6 instruments originally developed for the Mars Observer mission. It was built and is operated under contract to JPL by an industry/university team led by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA.