Small view (815 KBytes)
Large view (2.8 MBytes)

In an effort to save fuel so that the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
mission can be extended additional years into the future (in order to
act as a relay for entry, descent, and landing telemetry from the Mars
Exploration Rover mission in early 2004), the spacecraft was re-oriented in
mid-August 2001 such that it no longer points the camera and other
science instruments straight down at Mars (i.e., towards its
nadir). Now it points about 16° off-nadir. For the Mars Orbiter
Camera (MOC) experiment, this new orientation, known among MGS teams
as “Relay-16” (because it enables the “relay mission” and has an
offset of 16°), has resulted in a tremendous increase in the
number of opportunities to acquire high resolution stereo (3-D) views
of the martian surface. Ideally, an image taken during the Mapping
Mission when the spacecraft was pointing nadir is repeated within a
week or two of its first Mars anniversary–i.e., 1 Mars year after it
was first acquired–so that the illumination conditions are close to
the same in the two images.

The 3-D anaglyph shown here is an example of the on-going effort
to acquire Relay-16 stereo during the MGS Extended Mission. The
first picture used to make this image, M13-01484, was acquired
March 21, 2000. Nearly 1 Mars year later, the second image,
E12-02584, was taken on January 23, 2002. Together, the images
show eroded, pitted, light-toned layer outcrops in Iani Chaos
near 4.4°S, 18.6°W. The layered materials may be
ancient sedimentary rocks. The image covers an area
26 km (16 miles) by nearly 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and is
illuminated from the top left.

To see this image in stereo vision, you must use “3-D” glasses (red in
left eye, blue in right). To see the original image from March 2000, visit
M13-01484 in the MOC Gallery.