NASA Daily News Summary For Release: May 27, 1999 Media Advisory m99-107 Summary: -- News Release

: First Global 3-D View of Mars Reveals Deep Basin and Pathways for Water Flow -- Video File for May 27, 1999 -- Upcoming STS-96 Live Events -- Upcoming Live Interview Opportunity: Hurricane CAT Scan, May 28 ***** FIRST GLOBAL 3-D VIEW OF MARS REVEALS DEEP BASIN AND PATHWAYS FOR WATER FLOW An impact basin deep enough to swallow Mount Everest and surprising slopes in Valles Marineris highlight a global map of Mars that will influence scientific understanding of the red planet for years. Generated by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, the high-resolution map represents 27 million elevation measurements gathered in 1998 and 1999. The most curious aspect of the topographic map is the striking difference between the planet¹s low, smooth Northern Hemisphere and the heavily cratered Southern Hemisphere, which sits, on average, about three miles (five kilometers) higher than the north. Contact at NASA Headquarters: Douglas Isbell, 202/358-1753; Contact at NASA Goddard: Cynthia M. O'Carroll, 301/614-5563; Contact at the Jet Propulsion Lab: Mary Hardin, 818/354-0344. Full text of the release: ***** Video Advisory v99-102 May 27, 1999 Note: A TV schedule combining mission events and other NASA television items is now available at Video File for May 27, 1999

ITEM 1 FIRST GLOBAL 3-D VIEW OF MARS (TRT 14:00) ITEM 1A SCALE AND 3-D INFORMATION Some of the sequences begin with a natural color image mosaic from the Viking orbiters draped over the 3-D extruded MOLA data. The falsecolored MOLA images use two techniques to illustrate the 3-D martian terrain. The average equatorial height is taken as the baseline and colored yellow; warmer colors (orange-red-brown-white) denote higher topography and cooler colors (green-blue-indigo) denote lower. The data also has been rendered in 3-D, with the elevation multiplied by a factor of five. ITEM 1B GLOBAL VIEWS OF MARS Generated by an instrument aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft called the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), the highresolution map represents 27 million measurements of elevation gathered during March-April 1999 and the spring and summer of 1998. ITEM 1C GLOBAL VIEWS - FLAT MAP The topographic map illustrates the striking difference between the planet's low, smooth Northern Hemisphere and the heavily cratered Southern Hemisphere which sits on average about 3 miles (5 km) higher than the north. The full range of topography on Mars is about 19 miles (30 km), one and a half times the range of elevations found on Earth. ITEM 1D HELLAS BASIN The Hellas impact basin in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars is the largest impact crater in the solar system at 1,300 miles (about 2000 km) across. ITEM 1E HELLAS BASIN FLY AROUND The basin is surrounded by a ring of material that rises 1.5 miles (about two km) above the surroundings and stretches out to 2,500 miles (4,000 km) from the basin center. This ring of material, likely thrown out of the basin during the impact of an asteroid, has a volume equivalent to a 2.6-mile (4-km) thick layer spread over the continental United States, and it contributes significantly to the high topography in the Southern Hemisphere. ITEM 1E Valles Marineris Valles Marineris is a canyon that stretches about 1850 miles (3,000 km) and its deepest point is 5 miles (8 km) deep. The new data show that the eastern part of the vast Valles Marineris canyon slopes away from nearby outflow channels, with part of it lying a half-mile (about 1

km) below the level of the outflow channels. ITEM F THARSIS RIDGE A cluster of four enormous volcanoes can be seen in this flyby of the Tharsis region. The most amazing of these giant volcanoes is Olympus Mons, which rises about 15 miles (24 km) above the surrounding plains. ITEM G LONG DOWNHILL RUN The difference in elevation between the hemispheres results in a slope from the South Pole to North Pole that was the major influence on the global-scale flow of water early in martian history. Scientific models of watersheds using the new elevation map show that the Northern Hemisphere lowlands would have drained three-quarters of the martian surface. ITEM H POLAR REGIONS The current water inventory of Mars can be estimated using the new data about the south polar cap and information about the North Pole released last year. While the poles appear very different from each other in visual images, they show a striking similarity in elevation profiles. Based on understanding of the North Pole, this suggests that the South Pole has a significant water ice component, in addition to carbon dioxide ice. The concentric lines around the poles are artifacts from the preliminary rendering. ITEM I NORTH POLE REGION Previously released November 1998 ITEM J LANDING SITE - MARS POLAR LANDER The MOLA data will also help engineers assess the area where NASA's Mars Polar Lander mission will set down on Dec. 3, and aid the selection of future landing sites. ITEM K MOLA / MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR -- ANIMATION During the ongoing Mars Global Surveyor mission, the MOLA instrument is collecting about 900,000 measurements of elevation every day. MOLA was designed and built by the Laser Remote Sensing Branch of the Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics at Goddard. The Mars Global Surveyor mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. ITEM L INTERVIEW EXCERPTS, DR. JIM GARVIN, MOLA Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Contact at NASA Headquarters: Douglas Isbell, 202/358-1753; Contact at NASA Goddard: Cynthia M. O'Carroll, 301/614-5563; Contact at Jet Propulsion Lab: Mary Hardin, 818/354-0344. ***** UPCOMING STS-96 LIVE EVENTS: THURSDAY, MAY 27: 1:30 a.m. EDT, LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS 6:48 a.m. EDT, LAUNCH 7:45 a.m. EDT, POST LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE FRIDAY, MAY 28: 11 a.m. EDT, MISSION STATUS BRIEFING SATURDAY, MAY 29: 2 a.m. EDT, MISSION STATUS BRIEFING ***** UPCOMING LIVE INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: HURRICANE CAT SCAN, MAY 28 TOPIC: Weather forecasters are predicting that the 1999 Hurricane Season will be another busy one, with four intense hurricanes and a chance the U.S. will be hit by a major storm. Researchers at NASA will be using a high-tech weather satellite to learn what¹s happening inside this season¹s powerful storms. The world's first and only spaceborne rain radar on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM, pronounced ³Trim²) satellite allows scientists to create spectacular 3-D "CAT scans" of precipitation rates and the height of the rain column inside powerful hurricanes. TALENT: NASA Research Meteorologist Dr. Marshall Shepherd TIME: Friday, May 28, from 6:10 a.m. 10:15 a.m. EDT To book an interview, call Deanna Corridon, 301/286-0041, or Wade Sisler, 301/286-6256, 888-474-0914 pager. The interviews will be broadcast on KU-Band -- Telstar 5, transponder 11 at 97 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency - 11929 MHz, and audio of 6.8 MHz. ***** The NASA Video File airs at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

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