Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Update: Posted February 26, 1999--

MOC Aerobraking-1 data obtained September 1997 - February 1998 have been released via the NASA PDS Website. See:

NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) has a schedule for release of Mars Global Surveyor data from the Science Phasing and Mapping Orbits of the mission. CLICK HERE for the PDS schedule. Earlier data were released--on the "Mars Global Surveyor Science Sampler".

Project Data Release Policies

Release of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data, including the images, is governed by three Project documents. The primary document is the MGS Science Data Management Plan, which is included in every science investigation contract. In order to focus science data management on the processing and archiving of data, a second document, the MGS Archive Generation, Validation, and Transfer Plan was written to discuss specific plans for each instrument. The MGS Public Information Release Plan is a recent document written to amplify on MGS public release activities, and the rules that govern them.

Several aspects of these plans should be noted:

  1. Only the Public Information Release Plan was written after the mapping mission was delayed to accommodate the spacecraft limitations on aerobraking. Release and archiving plans for Aerobraking Phase I (September 1997 to February 1998), Science Phasing Orbit Phase I (April 1998), Science Phasing Orbit Phase II (June to September 1998), and Aerobraking Phase II (September 1998 to March 1999) have yet to be incorporated into Project documents.

  2. Note that there are no specific requirements applicable only to the Mars Orbiter Camera. All instruments are to be developing material for release. In addition the requirements for thematic presentations, the MOC team has agreed to provide, on average, one public information release image a week.

  3. The general philosophy for release of data to the scientific community is that validated, archival materials will be prepared as soon as practical within the limitations of resources and data collection. The guideline is six months, but both the Science Data Management Plan and the Archive Generation, Validation, and Transfer Plan recognize that some products, for example global maps, may take longer, depending on the collection and processing strategies.

  4. During mapping, archival releases will be phased to match convenient seasonal and operational periods, which are approximately six months in duration. Each release will occur about six months after the end of each phase.

Links to the Documents
MGS Science Data Management Plan (SDMP)

This document, part of the original project plan and incorporated as an "exhibit" in each investigation's contract, is the principal governing document.

MGS Archive Generation, Validation, and Transfer Plan (AGVTP)

This document addresses, in somewhat the same manner as the SDMP, the specific preparation and delivery issues for science data products.

MGS Public Information Release Plan (PRIP)

This plan was written to focus on MGS public release activities, and the rules that govern them.