MGS Finds Viking Lander 2 and Mars Polar Lander (Maybe) Malin Space Science Systems

One of the more interesting and appealing activities of the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) observational objectives identified in the original 1985 Mars Observer proposal was to image landers on the martian surface. The scientific goal of this objective is to place the landers into their geologic context, which in turn helps the science community to better understand the results from the landers. In addition to this, the MOC team believed that it would be “really neat” to see the landers sitting on the surface. In previous releases, we have shown images of Viking Lander 1, Mars Pathfinder, and the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. To this group of landers we can now add with certainty Viking Lander 2 (VL-2), the location of which has been uncertain by many kilometers for nearly 30 years. We also believe that we have found a candidate for the location of the Mars Polar Lander, which failed without a trace on 3 December 1999.