New Delhi: Mangalyaan, which is India's first interplanetary mission has recently sent home stunning three-dimensional images of the Valles Marineris, a 5,000 kilometers long canyon on the Red Planet.
The 3-D images, released on the ocassion of Independence Day, were captured with the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) on July 19 when Mangalyaan was at an altitude of 1857 km from the surface of Mars.
The package of images also includes the pictures of the Opir Chasma, a valley 62 km wide and bordered by high cliffs.
Earlier this year, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has also beamed back high resolution pictures of prominent Martian landmarks including the Aurorae Chaos, a part of chaos terrain which comprises irregular flat topped blocks several kilometres across.
India's Mars Orbiter Mission, which costs around Rs 450 crores and is less than the budget of Hollywood space movie 'Gravity', was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
On September 24, 2014, the MOM spacecraft was successfully inserted into the Martian orbitafter a 298-day transit to Mars.
Thus, India became the first Asian country to reach Mars and the first in the world to enter Martian orbit in its first attempt.
The mission is a 'technology demonstrator' project to develop the technologies for design, planning, management, and operations of an interplanetary mission.