The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) blasted off from Cape Canaveral in August 2005 carrying, among other instruments, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.
The $40 million instrument has been snapping high-resolution images of the Martian surface for the past decade, providing us with a more detailed look at the planet’s surface than has previously been seen (from orbit). The photos it snaps, which are useful in helping to identify safe landing sites for future Mars landers, are also readily available to the public.
Jan Fröjdman, a Finnish filmmaker and space enthusiast, recently put this data to good use.
Over a three-month period, Fröjdman took imagery from HiRISE and transformed it into a colorized, dynamic, 3D, overhead view of Mars. As Wired notes, he used more than 33,000 hand-selected reference points in creating the video. That’s some serious dedication, especially when you learn that software exists that could have saved him a ton of time.
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