Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Pits and Layers

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-496, 27 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired in February 2003, shows pits formed by faulting and collapse in the Tractus Fossae region of Mars. The faulting and pitting processes have exposed the layered bedrock. Boulders, many of them now mantled by dust, have rolled down to the bottom of the larger pit. Dark streaks on the pit walls result from avalanches of dust. This picture is located near 23.7°N, 104.0°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the 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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