This stereoscopic picture of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft was created from two views of that spacecraft taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. The camera's successful imaging of Odyssey and of the European Space Agency's Mars Express in April 2005 produced the first pictures of any spacecraft orbiting Mars taken by another spacecraft orbiting Mars.
Mars Global Surveyor acquired this image of Mars Odyssey on April 21, 2005. The stereoscopic picture combines one view captured while the two orbiters were 90 kilometers (56 miles) apart with a second view captured from a slightly different angle when the two orbiters were 135 kilometers (84 miles) apart. For proper viewing, the user needs "3-D" glasses with red over the left eye and blue over the right eye.
The Mars Orbiter Camera can resolve features on the surface of Mars as small as a few meters or yards across from Mars Global Surveyor's orbital altitude of 350 to 405 kilometers (217 to 252 miles). From a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles), the camera would be able to resolve features substantially smaller than 1 meter or yard across.
Mars Odyssey was launched on April 7, 2001, and reached Mars on Oct. 24, 2001. Mars Global Surveyor left Earth on Nov. 7, 1996, and arrived in Mars orbit on Sept. 12, 1997. Both orbiters are in an extended mission phase, both have relayed data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, and both are continuing to return exciting new results from Mars. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages both missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.