The european Mars Express mission, which was launched on 2 June 2003, is providing important new data on the geology, mineralogy and atmosphere of Mars. Mars Express is giving us information about the history of the Red Planet’s climate and explaining the role and whereabouts of water on the planet. Thanks to the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) developed in DLR's Institute of Planetary Research, Mars is being mapped in three dimensions and colour for the first time.
A wealth of information about Mars, its surface, subsurface and atmosphere has led to a completely new view of the Red Planet.
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.
The images shown in this gallery were generated at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin and published there as 'Highlights of the Month' in 2011. They present special Mars products obtained using the HRSC camera on board Mars Express.
Huge landslides, lava flows and tectonic forces have generated the stunning landscape seen in these images acquired by the DLR-operated HRSC camera system on board the Mars Express spacecraft.
Intense underground steam explosions that occurred during the crater formation process could be responsible for the central depressions present in these 'twin' craters, located on Thaumasia Planum, an elevated plateau that lies immediately to the south of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System.