Geometric geodesy also applies to the mapping of other terrestrial planets. In the late 1990's, NASA launched a mission to Mars containing an instrument called a laser altimeter. The Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) is taking altimeter range observations from a satellite orbiting Mars. Below are some samples of the types of maps that have been produced based on this data. The detail of the maps will only improve as the laser acquires more observations from additional orbital tracks.

For further information, please see the MOLA Science web pages.

The map above shows the planet from latitudes -75° to +75°. The region in the frame is shown in more detail on a map further below.

Page last updated: October 8, 1999