Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Mesas

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-451, 13 August 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This August 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of small mesas with sharp, arcuate edges located on the south polar residual cap of Mars. These mesas, each about 2 meters (6-7 feet) high, are all remnants of a single layer or grouping of layers of frozen carbon dioxide. Sublimation of the carbon dioxide has eroded the layer(s) from these flat-topped mesas. This scene is located near 86.6°S, 105.4°W and covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

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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.

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