Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

MOC Acquires High Resolution Stereoscopic Images
of Viking One Landing Site

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release:          MOC2-44A, -44B
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID:         577659262.25403
                                                           P254-03 (partial)
                                                           P235-03 (partial)
See also: Viking One Landing site

(A) (B)

(A) Viking Orbiter 1 027A63, showing outline of area including Viking Lander 1 location covered by stereoscopic images

(B) Stereoscopic portions of MOC images 25403 (red) and 23503 (blue,green) reproduced at a scale of 7.5 meters/pixel (JPG = 676 KBytes)

Note: The stereo effect is properly viewed when the right eye is viewing through the red filter ("right on red").

Note: The MOC images are made available in order to share with the public the excitement of new discoveries being made via the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The images may be reproduced only if the images are credited to "Malin Space Science Systems/NASA". Release of an image does not constitute a release of scientific data. An image and its caption should not be referenced in the scientific literature. Full data releases to the scientific community are scheduled by the Mars Global Surveyor Project and NASA Planetary Data System. Typically, data will be released after a 6 month calibration and validation period.

Click Here for more information on MGS data release and archiving plans.


Two MOC images of the vicinity of the Viking Lander 1 (MOC 23503 and 25403), acquired separately on 12 April 1998 at 08:32 PDT and 21 April 1998 at 13:54 PDT (respectively), are combined here in a stereoscopic anaglyph. The more recent, slightly better quality image is in the red channel, while the earlier image is shown in the blue and green channels. Only the overlap portion of the images is included in the composite.

Image 23503 was taken at a viewing angle of 31.6° from vertical; 25403 was taken at an angle of 22.4°, for a difference of 9.4°. Although this is not as large a difference as is typically used in stereo mapping, it is sufficient to provide some indication of relief, at least in locations of high relief.

The image shows the raised rims and deep interiors of the larger impact craters in the area (the largest crater is about 650 m/2100 feet across). It shows that the relief on the ridges is very subtle, and that, in general, the Viking landing site is very flat. This result is, of course, expected: the VL-1 site was chosen specifically because it was likely to have low to very low slopes that represented potential hazards to the spacecraft.

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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

To MSSS Home Page