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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release: MOC2-12 Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image IDs: 560380477.1301 560380477.1302 P013-01,02
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In both of the two images shown above, north is to the top. In the MOC image, the camera was viewing towards the west.
(A) is excepted from a U.S. Geological Survey shaded relief map, showing the footprint of the MOC wide angle color image. The large canyon system (Valles Marineris) spans this view; chaotic terrain is seen at the far right and the eastern-most of the four large Tharsis volcanoes (Ascraeus Mons) is shown in upper left.
(B) is the composite of MOC frames P013_01 and P013_02. Because the MOC acquires its images one line at a time, the cant angle towards the sun-lit portion of the planet, the spacecraft orbital velocity, and the spacecraft rotational velocity combine to distort the image slightly. However, the wide angle cameras provide a fairly realistic portrayal of what one would see looking out across Mars from the Orbiter. Notable in this image are the late afternoon clouds and hazes that are concentrated within the canyon system.
Launched on November 7, 1996, Mars Global Surveyor entered Mars orbit on Thursday, September 11, 1997. From the planned 400 km (248 mi) orbit altitude, MOC wide angle images will be 2-4 times higher resolution than these pictures.
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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