USGS

INTRODUCTION to the MARS DATA

The Mars maps on this site are based on data mostly from the Viking 1 and Viking 2 missions which orbited Mars, collecting data from 1976 to 1980.
 
Mission
Encounter date(s)
Type of encounter
Significant discoveries
Closest approach
Best resolution
# of pictures
Percent of planet mapped
Mariner 4 15 July 1965
flyby
  • densely cratered terrain
  • 9846 km
    ~ 1km
    21
    1%
    Mariner 6/7 31 July 1969 

    5 August 1969

    flyby

    flyby

  • Olympus Mons
  • eroded features
  • 3431 km

    3430 km

    300 m 

    300 m

    75

    124

    10%
    Mariner 9 13 November 1971 to 27 October 1972 

    (operational in orbit for 349 days)

    orbiter
  • fluvial channels
  • huge volcanoes
  • mapped 100% of planet
  • Valles Marineris
  • layered polar terrain
  • dust storm observastions
  • past geologic activity
  • first closeups of Phobos & Deimos
  • 1250 km
    50 m
    6786 of Mars
    100% 

    at 1-3 km res.

    Viking 1 19 June 1976 to 17 August 1980 (orbiter)
    orbiter and lander
  • high resolution images
  • surface chemistry information
  • atmospheric chemistry
  • biologic tests
  • 300 km
    8m, 150 m

    lander: ~3 mm

    >33,000 (some color)
    100%
    Viking 2 7 August 1976 to 25 July 1978 (orbiter)
    orbiter and lander
    see Viking 1
    300 km
    8m, 150 m

    lander: ~3 mm

    ~16,000

    (some color)

    100%
    Mars Global Surveyor
    12 September 1997 

    to present

    orbiter
  • spectral mapping
  • ancient hydrothermal activity 
  • localized magnetic regions mapped
  • duststorm evolution
  • data is still being analyzed...
  • 258 km
    1.4 m
    still obtaining images
    still obtaining images
    Mars Odyssey
    24 October 2001

    to present

    orbiter
  • data gathering in progress
  • still obtaining data
    still obtaining data
    still obtaining images
    still obtaining images



     
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