During the last of a series of eight encounters with the martian moon Phobos, the DLR-operated High-Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA's Mars Express spacecraft acquired a detailed view of the martian satellite. The orbiter flew past Phobos at a distance of only 100 kilometres on 9 January 2011 and imaged the southern hemisphere of the irregularly-shaped moon. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) planned the image acquisition and processed the resulting data.
Like a scanner in orbit, the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Mars Express spacecraft has been imaging the surface of the Red Planet since 10 January 2004, spotting volcanoes, trenches, wrinkle ridges and impact craters. But before we can view the surface of Mars in 3D, the photos have to be sequenced, the data has to be checked, and only then can viewable imagery be generated. This is something that the researchers at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research and the Free University of Berlin have been doing for the last seven years.