Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)

MGS MOC Begins Second Year of Extended Mission

MGS MOC Releases MOC2-300 to MOC2-304, 11 February 2002

Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) began its second year of Extended Mission operations on February 1, 2002. The Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) has been extremely busy during the Extended Mission. Objectives during the first year of the Extended Mission included:

In mid-August 2001, the orientation of the MGS spacecraft was changed so that the camera (which is fixed firmly to the spacecraft) no longer looks straight down towards the planet. This change, part of an effort to save fuel and further extend the lifetime of the MGS mission, orients the spacecraft so that the camera points 16° off-nadir. For MOC, this meant an increase in the number of sites that could be re-photographed to provide stereo (3-D) coverage. This added bonus for MOC also translated to additional stereo coverage for the sites being studied for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers. Images covering the 2003 rover sites are released each month.

In late June 2001, a series of large dust storms evolved into an event that obscured much of the planet for more than three months. During this time, MOC high resolution imaging focused on the one area that was not obscured by dust--the south polar cap. Some new images of the south polar cap are presented here; others were presented in December 2001. Pictures of the global dust events were presented in October 2001.

The pictures below show a few additional highlights from the first year of the MGS/MOC Extended Mission. To view them, please click on the icons below.

N. Polar Layers

Crater and Rays

Arsia Spiral Cloud

S. Polar Changes

Relay-16 Stereo

MSSS Image Use Policy

Malin Space Science Systems, Inc.