NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
A century ago, the name Percival Lowell and the planet Mars were intimately linked through his popular writings about canals built by intelligent beings on the fourth planet. Today, a crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars is named for Lowell, who usually observed the planet from a hilltop in Flagstaff, Arizona. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired in October 2004, shows a portion of a sand dune field in western Lowell Crater. The dunes are located near 51.3°S, 82.5°W. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper 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.