Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Cap

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1132, 24 June 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a view of some of the circular pits and spectacular buttes and mesas formed in the frozen carbon dioxide of the martian south polar residual cap. The scarps that bound each pit and mesa have been observed by MOC to retreat at an average rate of about 3 meters (~3 yards) during each southern summer season that the spacecraft has been in orbit. A new summer season will start in mid-August 2005.
Location near: 86.9°S, 5.3°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Spring

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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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