Ares 3 Landing Site: The Martian Revisited
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Ares 3 Landing Site: The Martian Revisited
ESP_040776_2115  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
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We previously released an image near the Ares 3 landing site from “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Andy then sent us the exact coordinates, which we targeted, and this is it.

The closeup shows some wind-blown deposits inside eroded craters. We can’t see the Ares 3 habitat because it arrives sometime in the future, so this is the “before” image. The dark areas appear bluish in HiRISE color but would appear grey to humans on the surface, or maybe a bit reddish when the air is dusty.

Ares 3’s 6-meter-diameter habitat would be just 20 pixels across at this scale, about 1/10th the diameter of the largest crater in the central cluster. If protagonist Mark Watney were laying flat on the surface, he would be 6 pixels tall.

Written by: Alfred McEwen and Andy Weir   (16 April 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_041277_2115.

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Acquisition date:08 April 2015 Local Mars time:14:10
Latitude (centered):31.380° Longitude (East):331.371°
Range to target site:293.8 km (183.6 miles)Original image scale range:29.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~88 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:2.4° Phase angle:54.5°
Solar incidence angle:56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon Solar longitude:322.5°, Northern Winter

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.