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Take a ride on the Mars Express, a spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency over 10 years ago, to see Mars as never seen before. After over a decade of capturing images, the ESA has compiled all the data and made it into a stunning 3D flyover.
This showcase zips through 3D renderings of Mars's canyons, craters, lava flows, and ancient riverbeds. The Mars Express Orbiter circled the red planet over 12,500 times to gather the information required to get a sense of the planet's topography.
Aboard the Mars Express is a high resolution stereo camera (HRSC), which was able to fully capture the dimension of the planet's surface. It took much adjusting from the German Aerospace Centre to get the probe's altitude just right so that the camera could work properly. Turns out that the magic number is 277 kilometers (about 172 miles) above ground.
See the solar system's highest known mountain and much more the mesmerizing video below.
Images and videos courtesy of DLR German Aerospace Centre.
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