Explore Mars’ Mountains and Canyons from a Probe’s-Eye View

Using ten years of data from their probe, the European Space has created a lifelike flyover simulation of the red planet

Shaylyn Esposito

For the past 10 years, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe has flown around and around the red planet, orbiting it more than 12,500 times in total.

All the while, it’s been collecting detailed topographic data on Mars’ surface with a suite of remote sensing instruments, including high-resolution cameras, radar-sensing devices and spectrometers that can detect the minerals present on the planet by analyzing the spectrum of infrared light they emit.

This video, released earlier this week by the ESA, gives you a look at some of the probe’s most dramatic views to date. The ESA built this simulated flyover from computer graphics based off real-world data, so this clip is (currently) the closest you can possibly get to flying over Mars’ surface yourself.