Red Encounter

Mars Express Earth-Moon image
(c)Photo ESA/DLR/Freie Universität Berlin


Unique farewell to the Earth and the Moonn
17 July 2003

This unique and exclusive view of our home planet and its natural satellite, the Moon, was sent back to us by ESA's Mars Express from a distance of 8 million kilometres.

Together with other data, such as measurements of the major constituents of Earth as seen from space, this is proof that Mars Express instruments are working perfectly.

This view of the Earth/Moon system was taken on 3 July 2003 by Mars Express's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin, Germany.

The picture proves that the HRSC is working very well. If it can produce pictures like this from 8 million kilometres, imagine what we can expect once the spacecraft is in orbit at altitudes of only 300 kilometres!

This camera will be able to see detail down to 2 metres on the Martian surface, a valuable tool the mission to find out whether Mars had environmental conditions that could favour the evolution of life.