Recommended Full Screen Viewing, for a Flyover of Mars

The European Space Agency has released a virtual flyover of our planetary neighbour MARS, to celebrate a decade of the Mars Express satellite's mission.

Compiled from almost 12,500 orbits around the Red Planet, the video provides us with some of the best vision yet of Mars's many craters, canyons, mountains and extinct volcanoes, truly bringing the barren rust-coloured surface to life. 

The stunning video gives an incredible detail of the Martian planet and its truly astounding landscapes that often seem quite similar to our own. June marked the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the ESA's Mars Express, fired from Russia in the same year that NASA launched its 
highly active and popular 

Spirit and Opportunity rovers that now cruise through the dust on the planet's surface. It took only six months for the ESA probe to reach Mars, with a sister satellite being launched in November 2005 to orbit Earth's sister planet Venus. 

Mars Express is expected to continue its operations until at least 2014, but it has already outlived its expected lifetime and been given five mission extensions. 

Unfortunately the same could not be said for its surface probe, the British-built Beagle 2 which crashed to the surface during landing.



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