NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide angle camera view of the martian south polar residual cap was acquired in March 2002, at the peak of the last southern summer. The ice at the surface of this summertime cap is mostly composed of carbon dioxide. The picture covers an area about 600 km (373 mi) wide near 90.0°S. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower right. Compare the view shown here with the appearance of the cap 1 Mars year earlier in April 2000 by visiting: MOC2-225, 27 April 2000, "South Polar Cap, Summer 2000".
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, California. 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, California and Denver, Colorado.