NASA Adds to Mars Global Surveyor Photo Album
One of the highest-resolution images ever obtained from the red
planet-- a view of gullies in a crater in the Newton Basin-- is among an
astounding group of 18,812 images being added to NASA's Mars Global
Surveyor online image gallery today.
The addition brings the total number of Global Surveyor archived
images to 112,218, more than twice the number of pictures of Mars
acquired by the two Viking orbiters of the 1970's.
The images are available at:
Featured images include gullies from two different impact craters in
Newton Basin in Sirenum Terra. One image has a resolution of 1.5 meters
(5 feet) per pixel which means scientists can study features roughly the
size of a school bus. Another image highlights wintertime frost on the
crater wall and dark sand dunes on the floor.
The newly archived images were acquired between August 2001 and
January 2002 and highlight visual weather events such as planet-wide
dust storms and the springtime retreat of the south polar seasonal
frost cap. Other images are being used by scientists to evaluate landing
sites for the Mars Exploration Rover mission scheduled to launch in 2003.
Global Surveyor, launched Nov. 7, 1996, entered the Martian orbit on
Sept. 12, 1997. The mission has studied the entire Martian surface,
atmosphere, and interior, and has returned more data about the red
planet than all other Mars missions combined.
Mars Global Surveyor is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for
NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. JPL's industrial partner is
Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, which developed and operates the
spacecraft. The Mars Orbiter Camera is operated by Malin Space Science
Systems, San Diego, Calif.