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The Mars face

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The Mars face

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Date Posted:April 7th, 2009
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Description: In July, 1976, Viking Orbiter 1 was acquiring images of the Cydonia region of Mars as part of the search for potential landing sites for Viking Lander 2. On 25 July, 1976, it photographed a region of buttes and mesas along the escarpment that separates heavily cratered highlands to the south from low lying, relatively crater-free, lowland plains to the north. Among the hills was one that, to the Viking investigators scrutinizing the images for likely landing sites, resembled a face. Owing to the importance of the landing site search, and with a desire to provide the public with at least one familiar-looking landform amid the craters and exotic terrains found all over Mars, an image including the face-like hill was released as part of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's public relations effort. The text of that release notes the face-like hill.

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