Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Isidis Planitia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-584, 24 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a small portion of the vast Isidis Planitia, the region in which the Beagle 2 is scheduled to land on 25 December 2003 (GMT; it will be the evening of 24 December 2003 in the U.S.). Much of Isidis Planitia has low hills and mounds like those shown here. Many of these are remnants of a layer (or group of sub-resolution layers) that once more extensively covered Isidis Planitia, but was later stripped away, revealing previously-buried meteor impact craters. The light-toned ridges and somewhat squiggly features are windblown dunes. This picture is located around 10.7°N, 268.6°W, which is in the vicinity of the projected Beagle 2 landing zone. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/lower 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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