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Note on Discontinuation of NASA Mars Picture of the Day

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2006

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As of 1 October 2006, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) began its fourth mission extension, per NASA funding cycles. Owing to changes in funding levels, personnel responsibilities, and a desire to be more flexible and responsive to the announcement of important new MOC findings, the MOC Picture of the Day daily release activity has been suspended.

The MOC team steadily released a picture each day, including weekends and holidays, from 15 April 2003 through 30 September 2006, totalling more than 1300 releases. Prior to that time, more than 300 captioned MOC releases were produced between July 1997 and April 2003. With the start of U.S. Fiscal Year 2007 on 1 October 2006, the MOC team has returned to its prior practice of releasing captioned materials on a less regular basis, typically on the order of 4 per month.

More than 1600 captioned releases have been produced by the MOC team at MSSS since 1997. These can be found by reviewing each index available at: http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/.

The majority of the greater than 230,000 images acquired by MOC have already been archived with the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS). These can be viewed in the MOC Gallery at: http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/.

MGS has completed more than 9 Earth years in orbit, and will complete its 10th year in September 2007. Just prior to that time, NASA will review MGS operations and determine if a full-Mars year exention (through September 2008) is warranted.

The MGS MOC team thanks you for your continued interest in this on-going mission.

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