Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Pit Chain on Olympus

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-703, 21 April 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a chain of collapse pits on the lower northeast flank of the large martian volcano, Olympus Mons. For these to have formed, something in the subsurface must have been removed or changed volume, such as cooling lava within a subsurface lava tube or extension of the crust by faulting. These pits are located near 20.6°N, 129.4°W. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the 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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