It would probably take me years to survey all of the jaw-dropping Mars surface images which have been taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter blasted off from Cape Canaveral ten years ago in 2005, on a search for evidence that water had persisted on the surface of Mars for long periods of time. The glorious harvest of high resolution images of the surface which the satellite has yielded thus far has revealed a sweeping palette of intense colors, hues, textures and wind driven surface patterns from the red planet which will inspire earth based artists and designers for centuries to come.
“When I began exploring and collecting these images some years back, I felt as if I had fallen into a cascading rabbit hole of visual intensity that I might never return from. I was utterly lovestruck.”
I admit it. I just cannot stop looking at the amazing array of wild wind-blown patterns which paint the surface of Mars. Forget terra-forming or mining the minerals, or growing edible goo in greenhouses next to squatting clusters of Mars-pods where someone will spend the rest of their days gazing out at the cold dry sea of pink red dust. Please, please, I am begging you: fly me over the Mars surface at about 150 miles up, and allow me to be an ever gawking space tourist transfixed by the endlessly shifting land patterns. The designer / artist in me cannot get enough of gazing in wonder at the natural geologic raw beauty of Mars.
NASA has stated that the orbiter has sent back 100 terabits of information since 2006. That’s equal to about 3 million songs in MP3 format. Below are just a few of the visual “top hits” that I have selected to share. Put on your sunglasses and be sitting down. You are about to be dazzled by Mars.
Cited from mars.nasa.gov:
“Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is looking at small-scale features
In its survey of the red planet, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is increasing tenfold the number of spots surveyed close-up. One of the orbiter’s cameras is the largest ever flown on a planetary mission. Though previous cameras on other Mars orbiters could identify objects no smaller than a school bus, this camera can spot something as small as a dinner table. That capability has allowed the orbiter to identify obstacles such as large rocks that could jeopardize the safety of landers and rovers, including the Phoenix mission and Mars Science Laboratory mission. Its imaging spectrometer looks at small-scale areas about five times smaller than a football field, a scale perfect for identifying any hot springs or other small water features.”