GLOBAL MAPPING OF MARS: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Correspondence: Thomas C. Duxbury, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

Pasadena, CA 91109 USA tduxbury@jpl.nasa.gov

 

Initial mapping of Mars began with the early Mariner 4, 6 and 7 flybys in the 1960's. Mariner 9 obtained the first global coverage of Mars in 1971. Viking Orbiters 1 and 2 added new and higher resolution global coverage. The US Geological Survey produced the first digital global cartographic map products in black and white and in color, the mosaicked digital image models (MDIMs). In 1989, the Phobos 88 mission added imaging as well as multispectral mapping of Mars in the equatorial region. The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) added to the black and white and color global coverage. The most important development for Mars cartography occurred on MGS with its global coverage of Mars using the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) producing precision ground control in latitude, longitude and radius. The next version of the MDIM was produced at 230 m spatial resolution using MOLA precision cartographic control. The Mars Odyssey mission THEMIS instrument has completed its global infrared mapping of Mars at 100 m spatial resolution. The Mars Express mission is completing its global coverage of Mars in stereo at 100 m spatial resolution or better. MGS, Odyssey and Mars Express continue to provide limited surface coverage at the 1 to 20 m resolution. Currently the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is producing images at the 10's of cm level. All of these datasets provide a rich and historic perspective of Mars covering nearly five decades and allow global cartographic map products to be produced in visual and infrared at the 100 m level with specialized cartographic maps being produced for landing sites at the meter or sub-meter spatial resolution level. This work was produced at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NAS 7-2170.5c, within the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program and the MGS, Odyssey, Mars Express and MRO Participating Scientist Programs.