Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Mars orbiter checks out landing site for future probe
NASA/JPL/MSSS PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: January 15, 2001

On December 20, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the selection of a landing site for the British Mars lander, Beagle 2, that will be carried to the red planet aboard ESA's Mars Express orbiter in 2003.

Wide
Landing ellipse overlay on Mars Global Surveyor MOC camera Wide Angle Color Mosaic. Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
 
The landing is currently scheduled for December 26, 2003. The landing site is centered near 11 deg N, 270 deg W, in eastern Isidis Planitia. The name, Isidis Planitia, refers to the broad, relatively flat plain that covers the floor of an extremely ancient, large basin formed by an asteroid or comet impact perhaps more than 4 billion years ago. The floor of this basin exhibits chains of pitted ridges, numerous smaller meteor impact craters, and a variety of light-toned ripples and small dunes.

In this two-part Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) data release, the MOC Team at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) presented all available MOC image products as well as MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) shaded relief maps and Viking Orbiter views of the Beagle 2 landing site. These products are being used by the MOC Team to help determine where new MOC narrow angle images need to be acquired during the MGS Extended Mission phase that will run from February 2001 to April 2002.

Below are two zoomed in views of the landing zone.

Narrow
MOC narrow angle view of the Beagle 2 landing site region. Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
 

Narrow
Another MOC narrow angle view of the Beagle 2 landing site region. Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
 

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.

Hubble Posters
Stunning posters featuring images from the Hubble Space Telescope and world-renowned astrophotographer David Malin are now available from the Astronomy Now Store.
 U.S. STORE
 U.K. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Ride a rocket!
DeltaA 50-minute VHS video cassette from Spaceflight Now features spectacular "rocketcam" footage from April's launch of NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey probe. Available from the Astronomy Now Store in NTSC format (North America and Japan) and PAL (UK, most of Europe, Australia and other countries).

Get e-mail updates
Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed direct to your desktop (privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose).
Enter your e-mail address:

Station Calendar
NEW! This beautiful 12" by 12" wall calendar features stunning images of the International Space Station and of the people, equipment, and space craft associated with it, as it takes shape day by day in orbit high above the Earth.
 U.S. STORE
 U.K. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Shuttle calendar
Shuttle calendarIn this 2001 calendar, John Sexton turns the space shuttle into an art form with his unique black and white photographs of the hardware.

MORE - amazon.com
MORE - amazon.co.uk

Baseball caps
NEW! The NASA "Meatball" logo appears on a series of stylish baseball caps available now from the Astronomy Now Store.
 U.S. STORE
 U.K. & WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.