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NASA Mars Image of the Day: Third MOC View of Opportunity Landing Site

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-639, 17 February 2004


NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Around 19:03 UTC on 15 February 2004, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft flew almost directly over the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B), Opportunity, landing site. The MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team decided, therefore, to take MOC's third picture of the lander. Unlike the previous two images, this attempt did not require rolling the spacecraft to hit the target. The image shows the location of the lander in its small impact crater; it also shows the locations of the parachute/backshell and the area disturbed by landing rockets and the first bounce. The heat shield impact site was too far east for the camera to view. The Opportunity landing site is near 2.0°S, 5.6°W in Meridiani Planum. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left. The 150 meter scale bar is about 164 yards long. The image is not map-projected; north is toward the top/upper right.

For additional MGS MOC views of the Opportunity landing site, see:

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, California. 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, California and Denver, Colorado.

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