Video animation: Mars Express completes 20,000 orbits
Simulated overflight of the Red Planet, including various 'chaotic areas', outflow channels and craters to the east of the Valles Marineris canyon, just north of the equator.
On 26 October 2019, the Mars Express spacecraft orbited Mars for the twenty-thousandth time. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) developed and built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in collaboration with German industry, has been photographing the planet's surface on board Mars Express since January 2004 – at resolutions of up to 10 metres per pixel, in colour and in three dimensions. This is the first global topographic collection of image data for a planet other than Earth. The topographic image maps generated using the HRSC are of great scientific benefit. Digital HRSC terrain models are also used when selecting landing sites, such as for NASA's InSight geophysical observatory or the ExoMars (ESA, due to launch in 2020), Curiosity and Mars 2020 (NASA) rovers.