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.
Join us on a trip to our planetary neighbour. See breathtakingly beautiful pictures of its surface. Find out more about its geology, climatic history and moons, and learn about the history of its exploration.
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.
Among the most interesting landforms on Mars are features referred to as 'chaotic terrain'. Dozens or even hundreds of isolated mountains up to 2000 metres high are scattered in these extensive regions. Seen from orbit, they form a bizarre, chaotic pattern.
On 20 April 2014, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the ESA Mars Express spacecraft, which is operated by DLR, imaged the northern part of the enormous Argyre Planitia impact basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars. At that time, it was deep winter in the area, as can easily be seen from the ground frost covering the interior of Hooke Crater and large sections of the landscape in the image.
When looking at Mars through a telescope, once does not usually recognise many landscape features – especially since observations are often affected by dust storms that rage in the Martian atmosphere. The Hellas Planitia impact basin is, however, visible as a large, light, almost circular area in the southern hemisphere. Images of the deepest parts of this impact basin – with unusually great visibility – have now been acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft.