Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mars Global Surveyor Sends Snapshots Home to Earth

Space News Blog has a nice list of recently released photos of some very cool Martian surface features compliments of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor.
This is the eighth year of successful operation for the little satellite, the longest for any Martian probe ever launched by anyone. The lengthy stay has provided planetary scientists with reams of weather pattern data, surface mapping and even snapshots of tracks left behind by the Martian rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
The NASA site provides an archive of photos, plus a nifty little feature that lets you track the satellite as it orbits the Red Planet.

The prolonged success of the Mars Global Surveyor is a complete 180 degree turn from the series of Mars mission failures suffered by NASA previously: Mars Climate Orbiter, Mars Polar Lander and a pair of DS-2 probes were all lost en-route or crashed on the surface, providing little or no data. In fact, more multi-national probes to Mars have been lost than to any other planet in our Solar System.
Of course, that may have something to do with the fact more probes are sent to Mars than anywhere else...

No comments: