NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows some of the scarps, mesas, and circular depressions of the south polar residual cap. These landforms are created in material consisting largely of frozen carbon dioxide. Each layer is a record of a past, colder martian climate. This August 2003 picture is located near 86.9°S, 342.8°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.
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.