MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov Contact: Diane Ainsworth VIDEO ADVISORY February 10, 1998
IMAGES OF MARS '98 LANDING ZONE REVEAL STRANGE NEW TERRAINNew images of the Mars '98 landing zone, located in the frigid south polar region of Mars, will air Wednesday, Feb. 11 on NASA TV. The images reveal the first close-up views of this strange, layered terrain, which will become the site of NASA's 1998 Mars Polar Lander mission.
Ground fog obscures the surface in the raw images, shown on the left of the screen, while image-processing techniques, shown on the right of the screen, expose ground features in great detail. The images show an array of light and dark mottled patterns, and swirling bands of eroded, layered rock reminiscent of the edges of Alaskan ice sheets. Also included in the NASA TV file is animation of the 1998 lander mission, footage of payload testing at JPL and payload integration at Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, and brief interviews with JPL project representatives.
The Mars Polar Lander is one of two spacecraft to be launched to Mars in late 1998 and early 1999 to continue NASA's program of robotic exploration of the red planet. The 1998 lander will touch down in the southern polar region of Mars in December 1999 and begin a three-month surface mission to dig for traces of subsurface water. Meanwhile, its sister ship, the Mars Climate Orbiter, will begin a two-year mapping mission to profile the Martian atmosphere and map the surface.
NASA TV is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and audio of 6.8 MHz. Video news files air at 9 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific time.
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