Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Scene

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-627, 5 February 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of the south polar residual cap. Sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left, thus the somewhat kidney bean-shaped features are pits, not mounds. These pits and their neighboring polygonal cracks are formed in a material composed mostly of carbon dioxide ice. The image is located near 87.0°S, 5.7°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

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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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