So this is what Mars is Really Like!
NASA has released stunning photographs of the planet Mars. Taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the views are amazing! Some show the Victoria crater which has been explored close up by a rover vehicle for two years. Another shows a dust devil in the Martian atmosphere.
The new oblique view of Victoria Crater shows layers on steep crater walls, difficult to see from straight overhead, plus wheel tracks left by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity between September 2006 and August 2008. The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera shot it at an angle comparable to looking at landscape from an airplane window. Some of the camera's earlier, less angled images of Victoria Crater aided the rover team in choosing safe routes for Opportunity and contributed to joint scientific studies.
The new Victoria Crater image is shown in the accompanying image. It is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/multimedia/mro20091012a.html
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been studying Mars with an advanced set of instruments since 2006. It has returned more data about the planet than all other past and current missions to Mars combined. For more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mro.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, also in Pasadena. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.
For more information: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-122