Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mesas and troughs in Nilosyrtis region, Mars

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-307, 18 April 2002

Small view (500 KBytes)
Large view (1.9 MBytes)

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a region of flat-topped mesas separated by valleys or troughs of similar depth and width. The valley floors have been covered by a material that has subsequently developed thin cracks and collapse pits aligned along some of these cracks. A few outcrops of layered material occur in the valleys as well. The valleys probably originally formed by faulting; the origin of the mantling material is unknown. The image covers an area approximately 2.3 km (1.4 miles) wide and was acquired in May 2001. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

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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