NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This is a Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture of an outcrop of light-toned, layered, sedimentary rock exposed by erosion in Ladon Vallis. These rocks preserve clues to the martian past. However, like books in a library, one needs to go there and check them out if one wishes to read what the layers have to say. This November 2003 picture is located near 21.1°S, 29.8°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi.) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the 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.