Europe's first close-up of Mars

Europe's eye on Mars: first spectacular results from Mars Express

23 January 2004

These pictures were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express orbiter on 14 January 2004, under the responsibility of the Principal Investigator Prof. Gerhard Neukum. These images were processed by the Institute for Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), also involved in the development of the camera, and by the Institute of Geosciences of the Freie Universität Berlin.

The top image shows a portion of a 1700 km long and 65 km wide swath which was taken in south-north direction across the Grand Canyon of Mars (Valles Marineris). It is the first image of this size that shows the surface of Mars in high resolution (12 metres per pixel), in colour and in 3D.

HRSC image 14 January - perspective view

This perspective view is computer-generated from the original image data.

These images represent the outcome of 1.87 million km2 of Martian surface coverage, and about 100 gigabytes of processed data.

Computer-generated composite

This composite is computer-generated from the original image data.

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