Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Scoured Floor of Hrad Vallis, Elysium Planitia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-154, 19 July 1999


950 KByte gif -- 235 KByte gif


Ever since the Mariner 9 orbiter mission in 1971-1972, it has been clear that a fluid--most likely, water--once flowed across the martian surface to create some of the very large channels and valley systems on the planet. Two years ago in July 1997, for example, Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover landed in one such channel named Ares Vallis.

The scoured floor of Hrad Vallis is shown in the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image above. This valley is located on the the other side of the planet relative to the Pathfinder site. Hrad Vallis is one of several channel systems that are found just west of the Elysium volcanoes (e.g., Elysium Mons--see MOC2-57). The image shown here is illuminated from the right and was obtained on July 20, 1998.


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.

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