Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

West Elysium Planitia Crater

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-650, 28 February 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a middle northern latitude crater in western Elysium Planitia near 33.7°N, 257.8°W. The textured floor is a common feature at north and south middle latitudes, but its origin is not well understood. It is possible that sublimation of ice is a contributor to forming this texture, but it is just as possible that the processes do not involve ice or water in any form. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left; the picture 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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