In the novel and movie "The Martian," an astronaut's adventures take him to the rim of Mawrth Crater. This image from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the nature of this terrain.

October 5, 2015

In the best-selling novel "The Martian" and the movie based on it, stranded astronaut Mark Watney's adventures take him to the rim of Mawrth Crater. This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the nature of this terrain.

The crater rim is not very distinct, and from the Martian surface it would be quite difficult to tell that you are even on the rim of a crater. The terrain is hummocky and rolling, punctuated by smaller impact craters and wind-blown drifts of sand or dust.

This view is one image product from HiRISE observation ESP_042252_1930, taken Aug. 1, 2015, at 12.6 degrees north latitude, 355.7 degrees east longitude.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter and collaborates with JPL to operate it.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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