Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Latest Color View of Polar Landing Site

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-193, 2 December 1999


On December 3rd, Mars Polar Lander and the Deep Space 2 Microprobes (Scott and Amundsen) will land somewhere in the picture shown here. This Mars Global Survyeor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide angle camera view of the polar landing ellipse was taken on November 28, 1999. Dark patches within the ellipse are sand and small fields of windblown sand dunes. The bright patches toward the top of the image are frost. It is late spring in this portion of the martian south polar region, and much of the winter frost has finally sublimed away. The ellipse center is located at 76°S 195°W. In this view, north is toward the bottom and sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower right. The image covers an area approximately 105 km (65 miles) wide by 335 km (210 miles) long.

Images credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Also see:
"Geologic Features of the Mars Polar Lander Landing Ellipse," December 2, 1999

"Mars Polar Landing Zone Compared With JPL," December 2, 1999

"Layers of the South Polar Layered Deposits," November 22, 1999

"Mars Global Surveyor Views of the Mars Polar Landing Site," August 25, 1999

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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

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