Thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars we have now seen and documented so much of the red planet that you can even go on a virtual tour.
Sometimes though, it’s nice to take a step back and remember what the planet looks like as a whole, which is precisely what the European Space Agency has done with its latest video courtesy of the Mars Express spacecraft.
The astonishing video gives us a view of Mars from the perspective of an orbiting spacecraft thanks to a compilation of hundreds of images taken between the hours of 05:30-21:00 on 25 May 2015.
While admittedly low-resolution, the video is clear enough that you can make out the huge geographical features that define the planet from its large craters to the massive valleys that NASA’s rovers have been exploring.
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- NASA Mars Orbiter Takes Amazing Picture Of Curiosity Rover
Mars Express was launched in 2003 carrying with it the ill-fated Beagle 2 lander which was lost after heading towards the planet’s surface.
Despite the loss of Beagle 2, Mars Express has proven to be an astonishingly capable spacecraft proving that liquid water did once exist on the surface of the planet to being the first spacecraft to capture Mars’ stunning ‘Northern Lights’.
Named after the speed and relatively low cost of its construction, Mars Express has since become the ESA’s instruction manual on future spacecraft missions.
Venus Express in particular achieved a number of groundbreaking milestones including a daring aerobraking manoeuvre which saw it deliberately skim through the planet’s atmosphere as part of a hugely elliptical orbit