Fly over the Surface of Mars in 3D with the Most Complete Imagery to Date

This is the closest we've ever gotten to actually looking down at the surface of Mars ourselves.
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We might have a rover driving around Mars, investigating the soil, and spawning parody Twitter accounts, but the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Spacecraft is no slouch. It has made a full orbit of Mars almost 12,000 times, which has enabled it to map a significant portion of martian terrain, and now we can watch a really accurate 3D flyover.

Mars Express has nine different imaging sensors on board, which has allowed the German Aerospace Center to create an incredibly accurate map of martian terrain from different angles. Originally planned to only orbit the planet for 2 years after it got there in 2004, the mission is still active and should continue until 2014.

This may not be the most graphically impressive 3D version of Mars anyone has ever made, but it’s technically the most accurate, and there’s just something about that accuracy that makes it fun to watch.


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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.