The European Space Agency has pieced together a breathtaking simulation from images collected by the Mars Express spacecraft, depicting what an intimate fly-over of the planet's southern hemisphere might look like. The probe's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) has captured some fascinating photos of the pinkish-red Martian sky and parched landscape since the mission first launched bac in 2003 ,and this soaring 3-minute animation sequence gives us an accurate visualization of a low-flying pass across its barren, cratered crust.
Here's an explanation of this awesome odyssey from the ESA:
Explore the Atlantis Chaos region of Mars, in the Red Planet’s southern hemisphere. The video showcases a myriad of features that reflect a rich geological history. The tour takes in rugged cliffs and impact craters, alongside parts of ancient shallow, eroded basins. See smooth plains scarred with wrinkled ridges, scarps and fracture lines that point to influence from tectonic activity. Marvel at ‘chaotic’ terrain – hundreds of small peaks and flat-topped hills that are thought to result from the slow erosion of a once-continuous solid plateau. This entire region may once have played host to vast volumes of water – look out for the evidence in the form of channels carved into steep-sided walls.
Take a seat and tell us if this momentary Mars excursion beats the evening commute..