Using images acquired by the High Resolution Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, DLR researchers have created a 3D virtual flight over the landing site of the Mars Science Laboratory in the 150-kilometre-sized Gale Crater. The landing scenario is also visible at the end.
Even though it doesn't quite qualify as a 'proper planet, the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System, Vesta - which has a diameter of approximately 530 kilometres - exhibits numerous planetary characteristics.
This animation, partly in true colour and also using false colours to reveal the topography, is based on image data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and a global topographic model of the Moon's surface computed by DLR.
On 1 June 2011, Mars Express carried out a special manoeuvre to observe a conjunction between Phobos and Jupiter.
This animation shows a flight over the region of the Chasmata Melas, Candor and Ophir in the central part of Valles Marineris. ‘Chasma’ (= Greek for "fissure/canyon", plural 'chasmata') refers to deep valleys and canyons on Mars and Venus bound by steep cliff faces. Valles Marineris is a huge rift valley system over 4000 kilometres in length, 200 kilometres wide and up to 11 kilometres deep. Images from 13 HRSC orbits were used for the sequence shown.
The animation shows a simulated flight over Nicholson Crater. The crater is around 100 kilometres in diameter and lies to the northwest of the Medusae Fossae region. In the centre of the crater is an elevated area around 55 kilometres long and 37 kilometres wide that towers around three and a half kilometres above its surroundings. To date, it is not clear what this structure inside the impact crater is and which geological processes have caused its formation.
For this 3D film, researchers at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research used imagery acquired by the German camera system on board NASA's Dawn spacecraft from a distance of about 2700 kilometres above the asteroid's surface. Viewed through red-green glasses, the asteroid’s surface appears in 3D, pock-marked with countless craters. The journey takes visitors to the equatorial region, then the 'Snowman' craters, followed by one of the highest mountains in the Solar System.
Since June 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the Moon, using a wide-angle camera to digitally record its cratered surface. Using a total of 70,000 images, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have now created a digital 3D model of the Moon with unprecedented accuracy and completeness. The video shows virtual flights over the surface of Earth's satellite.
Phobos orbits the Red Planet in 7.6 hours at an altitude of 6000 kilometres. It is the larger of the two Martian moons.
Varied impact craters, valleys, canyons and mountains among the highest in the Solar System - the 3D images and videos of the asteroid Vesta created by scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) reveal a most unusual celestial body. The US Dawn spacecraft, carrying a German camera system on board, has been orbiting the asteroid since July 2011.
Considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and, at 8000 metres high, the most difficult to climb, K2 lies on the border between Pakistan and China. For scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), it is the perfect place for testing the latest processes for converting satellite data into 3D models.
The images acquired by the German camera system on the US spacecraft Dawn are currently being used for navigation purposes in its journey to the asteroid Vesta. A film, created by the Dawn team researchers from individual images acquired at a distance of about 481,000 kilometres, already reveals how complex the surface of the asteroid is.
For the first time, researchers from the German Aerospace Center have depicted Mount Everest, the 'Roof of the World', in 3D using optical satellite data at a maximum resolution of just half a metre. These 3D images are the outcome of a collaborative venture between the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, the German company 3D RealityMaps GmbH and DigitalGlobe, one of the world’s leading providers of commercial, high-resolution Earth observation products. A video allows the viewer to follow the route taken by 15 mountaineers on a current expedition to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.
The Automated Transfer Vehicle Johannes Kepler was launched on a specially modified launcher, the Ariane 5ES, at 22:50 CET on 16 February 2011 from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The second space cargo carrier in the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme, it is now en route to the International Space Station (ISS).