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.
The Mars Express HRSC images are now published under a Creative Commons licence: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
A wealth of information about Mars, its surface, subsurface and atmosphere has led to a completely new view of the Red Planet.
These recent images, acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), which is carried on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft and is operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), show a system of dried-up, heavily dendritic river valleys east of the Huygens impact crater.
Fifteen years ago, early on the evening of Saturday 10 January 2004, over a dozen scientists crammed into a tiny, somewhat austere room at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) research centre in Berlin Adlershof to stare intently at two monitors. They were awaiting the first images from 'their' experiment, the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC).
This image mosaic made up of images acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft shows the well-preserved Korolev Crater on Mars, which is filled with water ice all year round. The crater was named after the renowned Russian rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.