Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Cracked South Polar Plain

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-551, 21 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows a complexly-cracked and eroded plain in the south polar region of Mars. This image was acquired just a few weeks ago, in late October 2003; as such, the processes that formed the nearly regular pattern of squiggly troughs and cracks are presently unknown. The image is located near 85.0°S, 100.8°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. The picture is illuminated by sunlight 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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