NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a typical fretted terrain valley floor, located southwest of Moreux Crater near 40.3°N, 317.7°W. Prior to the MGS mission, images from the Viking and Mariner 9 orbiters led to speculation that the lineated floors of fretted terrain valleys indicated the results of flowing ice. MGS MOC images have shown that these lineations occur in closed, as well as open, fretted terrain valleys. The lineations might, therefore, have nothing to do with flowing ice. They might instead be an expression of eroded layered material. Studies of fretted terrain landforms are on-going within the Mars science community. This January 2004 image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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.