Engineers and scientists cheered and exchanged 'high fives' when the first images from the German camera system on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft appeared on the monitors at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin.
The water that once flowed across Mars in its early days has left many traces. Among these, two terraced mountains located in the Juventae Chasma basin stand out; they appear to be composed of sediment layers. Spacecraft overflights have revealed that these are sulphate deposits containing minerals such as gypsum, alabaster or kieserite, which usually require water to form.
Gentle, rounded landscapes make up the Ismeniae Fossae, and can be seen in these newly released images created using data acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.
If an astronaut were to stand in the Hebes Chasma basin, the view would be extraordinary. Precipitous walls rise almost 8000 metres into the skies, and a massif similar in size to Mount Everest lies at the centre.
The images presented in this mosaic and acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), on board ESA's Mars Express Spacecraft, show Becquerel Crater and, inside it, a mountain almost 1000 metres high, consisting of sulphurous layers deposited on top of one another. It demonstrates the eventful climatic history of the Red Planet.
These images, which were acquired using 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, show a section of the northern part of Hesperia Planum.
On 21 January 2013, the HRSC camera, operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, imaged the southeast portion of the Olympus Mons shield volcano, the largest volcano in the Solar System, located approximately 200 kilometers southwest of the Sulci Gordii region.
Numerous dramatic flood events sculpted the impressive valley system of Kasei Valles on Mars, seen in a new mosaic of 67 individual images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by DLR on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.
Nobody would have believed it back then; when the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft Mars Express was launched on 2 June 2003 to investigate our neighbouring planet, its mission was intended to last one Mars year, which is equivalent to about two Earth years.
Grabens, dendritic valleys, lava flows and the highest known mountain in the Solar System – in the images from the German stereo camera on board the Mars Express spacecraft, the topography of the Red Planet appears so three-dimensional that you could walk through it.
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.
The northern hemisphere of Mars is a single, massive lowland with only a few distinctive landscape features. Frequent, intense dust and sand storms are recurrent here over the course of the seasons. When this happens, the wind transports very small particles, which are either deposited in other locations, or, if they encounter rock, leave their mark through the effects of erosion.
On 13 January 2013 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, imaged the mouth of the Tinto Vallis region of Mars, southwest of Palos Crater.
As we look at the numerous graben and valleys that wind through the Martian highlands, it is not always clear which geological processes created them.
Observing a seasonal phenomenon has its own special appeal on Mars. As the planet's rotational axis has a slightly greater inclination to that of Earth, our planetary neighbour experiences distinct seasons too – except these last around twice as long since it takes nearly two Earth years for Mars to orbit the Sun.
Nereidum Montes, a chain of mountains over 1000 kilometres long, is part of the northern rim of Argyre Basin, the second largest impact basin on Mars. On 6 June 2012, the HRSC camera on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, which is operated by DLR, photographed a part of this mountain range
Mars is clearly much smaller than Earth, but it can still come up with impressive superlatives. Several landscape features have unquestionably enormous dimensions – at over 21 kilometres in height, Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the Solar System; the Hellas impact basin is more than 2000 kilometres across and eight kilometres deep – but particularly spectacular is the Valles Marineris canyon system
On 8 June 2012, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), operated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, acquired images of a region inside the Argyre Impact Basin, which is 1800 kilometres across and five kilometres deep.
Hadley Crater on Mars has been subject to several impacts by large asteroids in the course of its history. The 'craters within a crater' formed in this way give us a view over two kilometres into the Martian crust.