This protected place is located between the huge Marineris Valley, the so-called Martian “Grand Canyon”, and the Tharsis region, known for containing the highest volcanoes in the solar system. Noctis Labyrinthus, an extensive system of deep, steep valleys extending about 1,190 kmapproximately the length of Italy. This is where Mars Express once again sets its sights on its goals.
The European Space Agency’s probe has been orbiting the red planet since 2003Imaging the surface, mapping minerals, studying the fragile atmosphere, probing beneath the crust and exploring how different phenomena interact in the Martian environment, It has already devoted attention to the site in 2006 and 2015.
The video has now been created using a mosaic of images created over the course of eight orbits Shows flight over the eastern part of Noctis Labyrinthus as seen by HRSC. It offers a perspective view of the magnificent landscape, showing various “graben” – depressions of tectonic origin.
Watch the video that was produced
Intense volcanic activity in the area near Tharsis is responsible for the formation of these “forms”, This causes large areas of the Martian crust to “pucker” up, stretch and flatten tectonically, ESA explainsWhich leads to its narrowing, failure and sinking.
The highest plateaus seen in the video It represents the original level of the surface before the parts collapsed. The valleys and cross valleys are up to 30 kilometers wide and six kilometers deep.
In many parts, you can see Giant landslides covered the slopes and valley floorwhile it appears at other points Large sand dune fields formed by sand blown down and up by the Martian winds.
Remember, Mars Express was built to last less than two years, and in the meantime, it’s been 20 years. Not only was this ESA’s first mission to Mars, it was also the first European artifact to orbit any planet. For the solar system.
The probe was launched on June 2, 2003, and entered orbit around Mars on December 25 of the same year. With the help of a suite of eight modern instruments, the mission for which it was built began: studying the Martian atmosphere and climate, revealing the planet’s structure, mineralogy and geology, and searching for signs of water. To the surface.
Click on the images to see some of the landmarks of the Mars Express mission
Despite an estimated active lifetime of just 687 Earth days (equivalent to a Martian year), Mars Express It has been in space for two decades, making it undoubtedly one of the most successful missions ever sent to the Red Planet.And achieving all the proposed goals.
The European Space Agency has done the calculations and In the past 20 years, the mission has traveled 1.1 billion kilometers in more than 24,000 orbits. From Mars. With your data, It also contributed to the training of more than 170 doctoral students and published more than 1,800 scientific articles.
Among the achievements achieved by Mars Express is: Identify and map signs of the former presence of water on MarsIts influence and spread throughout the history of Mars. also He took a deep look into the atmosphere of the red planetWhich indicates how gases are distributed and escape into space and how dust is lifted from the surface into the air.
He also attended Giant dust storms are sweeping the planetThis creates clouds familiar to those we see on Earth, and they are tracked Rare ultraviolet aurora. Among the landmarks are Signs of recent volcanism and tectonics And occasional and Explore the unique features of the planet’s surfacemapping 98.8% of Mars and creating thousands of 3D images of impact craters, canyons (including the Valles Marineris system), the planet’s ice poles, supervolcanoes, and much more.
Orbit too He studied Mars’ deepest moon, PhobosIn unprecedented detail – passing within 45 kilometers of the mysterious satellite – Notice Deimos, the smaller moonas it travels through the solar system.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary, And once again it has “made a difference” by transmitting images of Mars live for the first time. The first appearance occurred Over the course of an hour, with new images every 50 secondssent directly from the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) on board the probe.
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