this recent composite color picture of Mars Polar Lander's target region near the Martian South Pole taken on November 28. Imaged by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor's wide angle camera, the area covered is 105 kilometers across with the expected landing ellipse superposed. It is late spring in Mars' southern hemisphere and white patches near the top are what remains of the area's winter frost while dark areas are likely sand and fields of sand dunes. The Mars Polar Lander spacecraft reached the Red Planet yesterday at 20:00 UTC and earthbound controllers are still trying to establish contact with the lander during the available communication windows. From orbit, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft will try to contact the two basketball-sized microprobes jettisoned during the lander's descent.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Mars - Mars polar lander - south pole of Mars
Publications with words: Mars - Mars polar lander - south pole of Mars