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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera


MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1399, 12 March 2006

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a mid-summer view of layered terrain in the south polar region of Mars. The general hypothesis that has been around since the Mariner missions to Mars in the late 1960s and early 1970s is that the layered material in the polar regions is composed of some combination of dust and ice in unknown proportions. Alternatively, the layers might be ancient sedimentary rock, perhaps protected from erosion by millennia of seasonal ice caps covering the region for, roughly, half a Mars year.
Location near: 80.1°S, 259.7°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Summer

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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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