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Mars Is Heaven!

1 Oct 2019, 13:00 UTC
Mars Is Heaven!
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

You probably hear a lot of news from NASA's many amazing Mars missions: the Curiosity rover, InSight, MRO, and more. NASA is good at promoting their stuff of course, but also the images returned from all these missions are truly wonderful.

You may not hear as much from the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission. Well, you may have heard about the lander Beagle 2: It set down safely on the surface, but two of the four solar panels didn't deploy, dooming that part of that mission.

But the orbiter part of the spacecraft has been running now for nearly 16 years. It takes images of the surface, maps the minerals there, and has lots of other instruments to poke and prod at the Red Planet to learn what's there. The science from the mission has been extremely valuable.

And so have the images. A lot of sweeping imagery has been returned by the mission, but one recently released made me literally gasp when I saw it. It's incredible:

An image of Mars, pole-to-pole, taken by the Mars Express mission on June 17, 2019. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This was taken on June 17, 2019, so just ...

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